Games Beaten 2023

Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
User avatar
PartridgeSenpai
Next-Gen
Posts: 3001
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:27 am
Location: Northern Japan

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Partridge Senpai's 2023 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
* indicates a repeat

1~51

52. Gyakuten Saiban 3 (GBA) *
53. Pokemon Gold (GBC)
54. Beltlogger 9 (PS1)
55. 64 De Hakken!! Tamagotchi: Minna De Tamagotchi World (N64)
56. Koudelka (PS1)
57. Pilotwings 64 (N64)
58. Mickey's Speedway USA (N64)
59. Boku No Natsuyasumi (PS1)
60. Pokemon Stadium: Gold & Silver (N64)
61. Chicory: A Colorful Tale (Switch)
62. Pokemon Stadium 2 (N64)
63. Pokemon Yellow (GB) *
64. Pokemon Stadium (N64)
65. Batman (GB)
66. Pokemon Snap (N64) *
67. Diddy Kong Racing (N64)
68. Wipeout XL (PS1)
69. Bomberman 64 (2001) (N64)
70. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (N64)
71. A Short Hike (PC)
72. Turok 2: Seeds of Evil (N64)
73. Super B-Daman: Battle Phoenix 64 (N64)

74. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (N64)

I've played quite a lot of Star Wars games over the year, and I've been something of a fan of Star Wars for quite a long time too. In my head, I always knew that this game was quite popular, so I've been meaning to play it for absolute ages, but it's only now that I've finally gotten to playing it. I'm not the biggest fan of flying games, but given that this was more arcadey than sim-like, I figured this would be okay for me. It was clearly okay for me enough to beat it, at least! XD. It took me about 9 hours to beat the game's 16 missions, and out of those I got 3 silver medals and 6 bronze medals. I played the Japanese version of the game on real hardware.

Rogue Squadron is the story of the titular squadron, who are a fighting unit in the Rebellion and then in the New Republic in the Star Wars expanded universe. This game has four chapters, with the first three having five missions and taking place in or around the respective first three Star Wars films, and the last chapter 4 only having one mission and taking place well after the 3rd film. You usually play as Luke Skywalker and it's following side stories around him specifically. The writing is nothing really amazing or exceptional, but it all makes for a fun time. This game exists to facilitate fun Star Wars Stuff, and the story does a very good job of allowing that.

The gameplay is a more arcadey approach to a flight sim. You play in a series of missions with their own specific objectives, and sometimes those objectives evolve and expand as you progress through the respective mission. Your flying is far from complicated as far as flight sims go, but it's a lot more complicated than something like Star Fox 64. There are even some upgrades you can find hidden in some missions to empower your arsenal even further. They're quite hard to find and generally very well hidden, so I'd recommend a guide to find them, but there was no way I was ever going to beat the game without them.

I'm not the biggest fan of this kind of game, and I'm also not super familiar with this kind of game in general, but with my limited experience with these kinds of things, I found it fairly well designed. That said, there are some design choices and hardware limitations that really harm the overall experience. The missions have basically no checkpoints outside of 4 respawn extra lives you get. Player information is also quite poor, as you only ever know your own health. The health of the thing(s) you're guarding, where objectives are at all, or even where missiles/shots are coming from is never made clear and it can make it very difficult to survive missions, let alone complete them. On top of all that, the very often poor framerate really makes the whole experience that much more frustrating than it already is. None of these are totally game breaking problems, but they definitely show just how badly the game has aged, and it'll all likely make for a very frustrating time for people more used to more recent (and better optimized) flying games.

The presentation of the game is, like the story, perfectly suited to facilitate fun Star Wars Stuff. All the ships you fly and fight against are just like they are in the movies and such. The voice overs and VA are good quality, and the sound-alikes they got for the characters from the films sound spot on. It's a bit of a shame that there's no Japanese VA, because I can only imagine how difficult it is playing a flying game while hurriedly reading subtitles, but at least that's something you can justify by saying that it makes it more like the films if we keep the original English voices. The music is also taken largely right from the films, and the presentation is really just what you'd want from a space-flying N64 Star Wars game.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. While I will fully admit that this just isn't a game for me, the technical issues of the hardware its on make it a pretty difficult game to recommend. If you're a fan of flying games or a BIG Star Wars fan, you very well might find this game a lot of fun, but if you're just looking for some casual Star Wars fun on the N64, this game is probably going to be quite a difficult game to get through, and it's likely going to be a pretty tough time to find fun with it as well.


-----

75. Jinsei Game 64 (N64)

A game you probably are more familiar with under the title of "The Game of Life," that board game is actually popular enough in Japan to have received Japan-specific editions as well as video games (of which this is one). I hadn't planned on picking this one up, but I'd heard it was quite neat and happened to find it at Book Off earlier in the month, so I figured I'd give it a try. Upon reflection, I actually had probably heard of the Taito-developed game released a year or so earlier, so I hadn't actually found the sick score I thought I had, but I bought what I bought, so I figured I might as well see what makes it tick XD. I played the game on real hardware, and I went through three games (two short, and one long) and spent about 11 hours doing it all, though I managed to win only the last of those games that I played (the 5+ hour long one).

There is no story to speak of, as this is a pretty straightforward adaptation of the board game. The additions present are largely in the execution of the gameplay experience, but the story is still the same. You start as a baby, and this game follows you through school and work all the way to the end of your life, and at the very end King Yama judges your soul and you get to see which part of the afterlife you end up in. It's just a board game, though, so it really doesn't need a story. The story is one you put together yourself as you rage at your friends for how much bullshit luck they happen into XD

The actual gameplay is really just The Game of Life, though it is a very noble attempt at trying to make that (bad) board game more interesting. You spin the spinner, you get good events and bad events, you decide to go to university or not and you get a job, you can get cards to use when you want. It's nothing that different from many versions of the game, at least as far as the base mechanics go. For the more advanced stuff, they've put in a small handful of mini-games which you get to play now and then to upgrade your stats. That's right, there are stats in this version, smarts, body, style, and morality, and you'll need higher stats to both get certain jobs as well as get promotions in those jobs. You can also get married and have kids (if you get lucky enough to land on the romance spaces and get lucky enough events with them), and you can also buy things like pets or real estate or find things like skills or items, though this is still The Game of Life. At the end of the day, everything comes down to money, as that's the game's only real method of totaling up your scores, and that's really where a lot of the faults come into play.

Now when we start talking about faults, we can't really ignore that, at its core, The Game of Life is a pretty boring board game. You can make little decisions here and there on how to use the special cards you find, what job to pick and when to change careers, and which path to take on the small handful of tiny forks in the road, but this is a game largely defined by how lucky each player gets and not much else. This isn't helped by just how badly the AI is at playing the game. They make utterly nonsensical choices constantly outside of cards with specific targets (which they always use to target the person in 1st place). They never buy real estate, and that's often going to be the metric that decides who wins, so they're actually really hard to lose to once you know what you're doing (especially because your standing only takes into account your current cash-on-hand total, not your net worth, for whatever reason). It's also really easy to get trapped into cycles of debt that are nearly impossible to get out of, as the game makes it VERY hard to get out of debt with your debt growing by 10% every payday regardless of your salary.

I could list a bunch more little problems here and there, but it all comes down to that playing by yourself is awful, and the way the game works overall makes it not terribly fun to play with friends either. It has procedurally generated boards, and you can even make your own boards and make your own characters to play as, both of which is quite neat. However, on my copy, character creation simply doesn't work, so take that for what you will. Games also take like 2+ hours to play at the absolute shortest, so even if you're just playing with one other person, get ready for the long haul if you're playing this game. That's right, it's not just boring, it's also VERY long too XD

The aesthetics, at the very least, are very nice. The 2D animations that play for your character during the good, bad, and otherwise events are very charmingly put together and it's always fun to see what weird nonsense is gonna befall your poor little fellas. The music isn't anything special, but it fits the tone of the game just fine, and the mini-games in particular have very fun little songs tied to them.

Verdict: Not Recommended. While this may be about as noble an attempt as is possible (outside of the nearly useless AI) to make The Game of Life an interesting and fun experience, but there's only so much that you can polish a turd XD. It's a neat curiosity on the N64, but it's also just such a crappy time that it's not worth much more than being a neat curiosity, and your time is probably better spent playing any of the other myriad of party games that are on this console.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
User avatar
SpaceBooger
Moderator
Posts: 4396
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
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (XBOX One) 11/20/23
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA) 12/1/23
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (SNES) 12/28/23
Traumatarium (GB) 12/30/23

Traumatarium (GB) 12/30/23
This is a new GB game I Kickstarted to get a physical copy to play on my GBC. The game is described as:
Welcome to Traumatarium, a short Game Boy game where the goal was trying to push the visual limitations of the hardware, and create a randomly generated, visually engaging, dungeon crawling experience.

There are five random dungeons that are made of 10 rooms. Each time you play a dungeon or the game everything is random. Since you can go back and redo dungeons you already beat, it is easy to grind to get the gear to blow through the final dungeon. After I beat the game there was a rank presented to me... and I was not satisfied. It must have been the grinding.
Since this is a short game, I will try to beat it again for a better rank.
This is a perfect portable game. If you are interested in playing it in a browser or buying the ROM for your Analog Pocket or FlashCart check out the games itch.io site: https://horatiunyc.itch.io/traumatarium
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
PartridgeSenpai
Next-Gen
Posts: 3001
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:27 am
Location: Northern Japan

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Partridge Senpai's 2023 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
* indicates a repeat

1~51

52. Gyakuten Saiban 3 (GBA) *
53. Pokemon Gold (GBC)
54. Beltlogger 9 (PS1)
55. 64 De Hakken!! Tamagotchi: Minna De Tamagotchi World (N64)
56. Koudelka (PS1)
57. Pilotwings 64 (N64)
58. Mickey's Speedway USA (N64)
59. Boku No Natsuyasumi (PS1)
60. Pokemon Stadium: Gold & Silver (N64)
61. Chicory: A Colorful Tale (Switch)
62. Pokemon Stadium 2 (N64)
63. Pokemon Yellow (GB) *
64. Pokemon Stadium (N64)
65. Batman (GB)
66. Pokemon Snap (N64) *
67. Diddy Kong Racing (N64)
68. Wipeout XL (PS1)
69. Bomberman 64 (2001) (N64)
70. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (N64)
71. A Short Hike (PC)
72. Turok 2: Seeds of Evil (N64)
73. Super B-Daman: Battle Phoenix 64 (N64)
74. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (N64)
75. Jinsei Game 64 (N64)

76. Soul Blazer (SFC)

Known as "Soul Blader" here in Japan, I've been meaning to get to this game and its two sequels for quite some time now, and a simple sort of Zelda-like was just what I was in the mood for after all of that N64 playing earlier in the month. I honestly had virtually no idea what this game was even like, but its reputation was good enough that I was willing to take the chance regardless. It took me a bit under 8 hours to play through the Japanese version of the game on emulated hardware without abusing save states or using a guide.

Soul Blazer tells the story of a heavenly guardian come down to the world to set things right. The great demon lord Deathtoll was summoned by humanity, so the souls of just about every living thing have been sealed away by his dark minions. It's your mission to head down there and set things right again. While the story's presentation is quite of its time (that being quite simple and without much use of scene-setting music), it's actually a surprisingly well written story dealing with how there can always be hope in the world despite how eager humanity can be to march towards its own demise for personal enrichment. It's not exactly the best story on the Super Famicom or anything, but it was one I enjoyed nonetheless, and it's nice to see a more well considered story in a Zelda-like like this.

While I do call this game a Zelda-like, it's honestly much more like Ys 1&2 and Gauntlet had a baby that was then raised by Actraiser XD (which makes some degree of sense, given that this was made by the guys who made both Ys 1&2 and Actraiser). It's a top down action game much like Gauntlet or Dungeon Explorers, and you go through dungeons killing all the monsters in an area. Upon killing all of the monsters out of a certain spawner, the spawner will explode all on its own, and walking over it will destroy it and free the soul of the being trapped in it.

Upon returning to the town of that particular area (of which the game has seven), you can talk to these beings (be they people, animal, or plant) and receive information, goodies, or just a simple thank you. This game has no money, so your goodies you find generally fall into being either new equipment (armor, swords, or spells), or just the power gems that you collect to power your spells. It's a pretty simple gameplay loop overall, but it's one that works really well regardless. It'll probably be a bit of an easy game for some (though the English version is a little bit harder), but I found its challenge to be juuuust right for me as a veteran of the genre. Even if you are having a hard time, you gain experience points from killing monsters, and there are always monsters that aren't connected to spawners that simply respawn when you enter and leave the screen, so simple EXP grinding to power up more is always an option if you're having trouble~.

The presentation of the game is really stand-out excellent. As mentioned earlier, we're taking a LOT of stuff from Actraiser, as almost all of the sound effects and even significant bits of the UI seem to just be copied directly over from Actraiser. Heck, even the way enemies get stunned slightly after hitting them is right out of Actraiser XD. Thankfully, not only is the Actraiser stuff very good and functional, so reusing it here is hardly a problem, but we also got a banging soundtrack too! This game's soundtrack was awesome, and there was barely a new area I got to where I didn't say out loud "oh hell yeah, this song rocks!". The graphics are also very pretty, though they're certainly of the time for a '92 SFC game.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. With a nice little story and really fun and balanced gameplay, this is a super easy recommendation. If you like 2D Zelda-type stuff at all, then this will likely be a game you quite enjoy, and you don't even need to be super good at these sorts of games to beat it. An awesome action/adventure game to spend a weekend with, if there ever was one~.


-----

77. Illusion of Gaia (SFC)

Continuing on with the Super Famicom's Quintet trilogy, this was the obvious next choice to play after Soul Blazer. Now this is a game I actually have played some of before, but I only got like a third of the way in and it was a LONG time ago. I'd also heard a lot of things over the years about how much worse the English version was vs. the original Japanese one (in a very standard mood for an Enix-published title), so I was very interested to see what the original version was like. It took me about 12 hours to play through the Japanese version of the game on emulated hardware without abusing save states.

Illusion of Gaia is the story of Temu, a young boy who lives in a coastal town and spends all day hanging out with his buddies. He's always had strange, telekinetic powers, but he's a kid like any other, and as soon as he's able, he's vowed to go out and find his father who disappeared a year ago when he left town to search for the Tower of Babel. After the kingdom's princess flees to his town and hides in his house, he and her become fast friends, and before they know it, the king has imprisoned Temu and they've all started onto a grand adventure to save the world.

In grand Enix fashion, I've heard many times over the years that this is a really poorly translated game in its English release. I've heard it described as outright nonsensical, even. The Japanese version, on the other hand, is actually a surprisingly really well written story. It's a really thoughtfully written tale about growing up, and I really loved how it tackled themes of discrimination (and while not perfect about it, it's a lot better than even a lot of games now get these sorts of things, frankly). Illusion of Gaia is a story very concerned about life, death, and just what you spend the one life you have doing. Life is never a completely pretty thing, and good people do bad things all the time for all sorts of reasons. What sort of life you lead and what you get from it, as well as what you do to others, is what paints this grand tapestry we call life. It's got some similar execution problems to Soul Blazer in how it doesn't always use music as well as it could to set certain scenes, but the story was nonetheless a really excellent one, and it's easily one of my new favorites on the console. It's just a shame it's nowhere remotely as good in the English release ^^;

The gameplay is once again a sort of Zelda-like, but with generally stiffer feeling combat as well as a transformation gimmick. Temu can turn into the dark warrior Freedan at save points in dungeons (and even another transformation much later into the game), and the respective powers of the different transformations are used to solve puzzles in dungeons. The boss and puzzle design isn't quite up to par with something like Link to the Past or other 2D Zelda games, but it still makes for a quite fun action game even if the adventure parts are more centered around the story writing than the exploration in towns and dungeons.

Speaking of which, there are significantly more towns in this game than in the last one, but they're largely for painting scenery and for telling the story. This is still a game with no money system, and you also don't level up with EXP like you did in Soul Blazer. Instead, clearing all of the monsters in a room gets you an upgrade to your max health, your attack power, or your defense power, so there's a hard limit to how great your stats can get in this game. There being no money also means that there's a hard limit to how many healing items you can get, and I've heard many a tale of how important it is to save your healing herbs in the English version to be able to deal with the harder bosses (which are MUCH harder in that version than in this one). The Japanese version, at least, had quite a nice difficulty curve to it, and while it's a bit harder than Soul Blazer and has no option to grind for power (though you can grind for extra lives, for whatever that's worth), this version should be eminently completable, especially for people familiar with the genre.

The presentation here is once again very good. The graphics are very pretty, and each location looks very distinct. NPCs and monsters are also very expressive and cool looking respectively, and the UI on top of the screen that shows monster and boss health is super appreciated for a game like this. While the UI design may've moved on from just copying Actraiser, the quality of the music is thankfully still just as strong as ever, and Illusion of Gaia has a soundtrack very befitting of its legacy.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. At least for the Japanese version, this is a game I can't recommend enough. It's a real shame that the English version is so much poorer, because it's honestly one of the strongest games on the system when it's actually written the way it's supposed to be. The action may not be the strongest on the system, but the story more than makes up for that (despite the imperfections and casual racism ^^; ), and this is absolutely a game worth checking out for action/adventure and 2D Zelda fans.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
Limewater
Next-Gen
Posts: 3351
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:01 am
Location: Northern Alabama

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Limewater »

SpaceBooger wrote:Traumatarium (GB) 12/30/23
This is a new GB game I Kickstarted to get a physical copy to play on my GBC. The game is described as:
Welcome to Traumatarium, a short Game Boy game where the goal was trying to push the visual limitations of the hardware, and create a randomly generated, visually engaging, dungeon crawling experience.


Huh. I gave this a shot on the website and just died a bunch. I guess there's something I'm missing. I didn't start with enough gold to buy any equipment.
Systems: TI-99/4a, Commodore Vic-20, Atari 2600, NES, SMS, GB, Neo Geo MVS (Big Red 4-slot), Genesis, SNES, 3DO, PS1, N64, DC, PS2, GBA, GCN, NDSi, Wii
User avatar
prfsnl_gmr
Next-Gen
Posts: 12235
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:26 pm
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

Traumatatium is also available on the Nintendo Switch for just a few dollars. Just FYI.
User avatar
prfsnl_gmr
Next-Gen
Posts: 12235
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:26 pm
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

First 40
1. Kirby & The Forgotten Land (Switch)
2. Kirby’s Dreamland 3 (SNES)
3. Earthbound Beginnings (NES)
4. Super Mario Bros. - The Lost Levels (NES)
5. Tuff E Nuff (SNES)
6. Star Fox 2 (SNES)
7. Rival Turf (SNES)
8. Brawl Brothers (SNES)
9. The Peace Keepers (SNES)
10 Arm Champs II (Arcade)
11. All-Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. (FDS)
12. Super Mario Bros. Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 - World e (GBA)
13. Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Arcade)
14. Super Mario Bros. Special - 35th Anniversary Edition (NES)
15. Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball (3DS)
16. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (3DS)
17. Vampire Survivors (iOS)
18. Ninja Spirit (TG16)
19. Earthbound (SNES)
20. King’s Field II (PS1)
21. Commando (Arcade)
22. Commando (NES)
23. Commando (7800)
24. Commando (2600)
25. Bionic Commando (Gameboy)
26. MERCS (Arcade)
27. MERCS (SMS)
28. MERCS (Genesis)
29. Bionic Commando: Elite Forces (GBC)
30. Blazing Lazers (TG16)
31. The Legendary Axe (TG16)
32. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch)
33. Mappy (Arcade)
34. Windjammers (Neo Geo/Switch)
35. Karate Champ (Arcade)
36. Trojan (Arcade)
37. Trojan (NES)
38. Untitled Meow Wolf Omega Mart Video Game (????)
39. Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland (GBA)
40. Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (GBA)

41. Metal Slug 3 (Neo Geo)
42. Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth (Switch)
43. Twinkle Star Sprites (Neo Geo)
44. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (Switch)
45. Shock Troopers (Neo Geo)
46. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 (Switch)
47. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Switch)


Finishing out 2023 pretty strong!

I beat Shock Troopers a few weeks ago with my son. It’s probably the best of the top-down, “dudes running around shooting stuff” games that originated with Front Line and was popularized by Ikari Warriors. It features branching pathways, distinct playable characters, a fair challenge, a ludicrous plot, and unbelievable sprite work. You can beat it once in about 45 minutes or so, but seeing everything the game has to offer will take some time. Highly recommended.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 is more of Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon. That is, it’s more Castlevania III- and Ninja Gaiden-inspired 2D action platforming. A lot more. A lot, lot more. I played through the game six(!) times, and I still didn’t see everything it had to offer. It was consistently tough, especially after the first playthrough, and as a sucker for punishment, I adored it. The graphics are great; the soundtrack rocks; and it doubles-down on the silliness. (One of the best playable characters is a steampunk mech piloted by a corgi.) Anyone new to the series should play Curse of the Moon first, but anyone’s who enjoyed that game is sure to love Curse of the Moon 2.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a kickstarter funded metroidvania designed by Koji Igarishi (who directed the beat Castlevania games, including Symphony of the Night). It’s a late-period Castlevania game in every way but name. It features a massive castle; it’s loaded with secrets; the RPG mechanics are both overly complicated and insanely simplistic. It’s silly and fun, and I loved it to death. Despite a very weak first impression - it’s ugly as sin and the game’s performance on the Switch is inexcusable - I quickly found myself hooked, and I couldn’t put the game down until I’d explored every inch of the castle, collectors every monster shard (like a Pokémon game!), crafted every recipes, etc. It’s easily a top ten meteoidvania for me, and if you have t played it, you should. Highly recommended.
User avatar
REPO Man
Next-Gen
Posts: 4727
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Outer Banks, NC

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by REPO Man »

Games Beaten 2023:

:arrow: Friday the 13th: The Game for Switch, Virtual Cabin Mode
:arrow: Portal 2 for Switch
:arrow: Metroid: Zero Mission for GBA (emulated)
:arrow: Sonic Mania Plus for Android (unofficial port), as Knuckles with all Chaos Emeralds, used Knuckles Plus mod
:arrow: AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake) for Android
:arrow: Super Metroid for Super NES (emulated)
:arrow: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Arcade, via TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection for Switch
:arrow: Metroid Fusion for GBA (emulated)
:arrow: Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 for GBC (hack)
:arrow: Sonic Triple Trouble 16-Bit for Android
:arrow: Dead Island 2 for PS4 (base game) as Ryan
:arrow: Uncharted 3 for PS4
:arrow: Viewfinder for PS5
:arrow: Borderlands 3 for PS5 (base game) as Amara, Normal Mode
:arrow: Marvel's Spider-Man for PS4
:arrow: Dead Island 2: Haus for PS5 (DLC) as Ryan

TOTAL: 16

SEE YOU ALL IN 2024!
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
Posts: 23943
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

First 50:
1. Void Destroyer - PC
2. Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights - Switch
3. Raging Blasters - Switch
4. Citizen Sleeper - Switch
5. GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon - Switch
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
42. Baldur's Gate 3 - PC
43. Quake 2 64 - PC
44. Quake 2: Call of the Machine - PC
45. Amid Evil: The Black Labyrinth - PC
46. Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon - PS5
47. Starfield - PC
48. Zone of the Enders HD: The 2nd Runner - PS3
49. Industries of Titan - PC
50. Legend of Mana - Switch

51. This Way Madness Lies - PC
52. Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries: The Dragon's Gambit - PC
53. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - PC
54. Sprawl - PC
55. Zortch - PC
56. Ion Fury: Aftershock - PC
57. Spider-Man 2 - PS5
58. Alan Wake II - PC
59. Ghostrunner II - PC
60. RoboCop: Rogue City - PC
61. Super Mario RPG - Switch
62. Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold - PC
63. Turbo Overkill - PC
64. Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince - Switch
65. Sigil II - PC
66. Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion - PC
67. Elderand - Switch
68. Front Mission 2 - Switch
69. Warhammer 40000: Rogue Trader - PC
70. Eastward - Switch

Managed to finish one last game before the new year rolled over. Eastward is an indie action-adventure game that takes the general gameplay of Zelda and mixes it with the aesthetics of Mother 3. In the process it manages to be the lesser of each, creating an experience that is painfully indie. There is a seed of a good game here, but the execution leaves a lot to be lacking.

The game starts with John the digger, who is part of a small community of post-apocalyptic people living underground. Prior to the start of the game he discovers a young girl in some weird yellow jelly while digging; he adopts this girl, Sam, and continues to live his life. But Sam speaks words of the outside, where the sky is blue and the grass is green, and the two are eventually expelled. So begins their journey into the east, which comes complete with digging into why there was a girl in some weird artificial womb underground.

The basic gameplay outside of story segments is very Zelda inspired. You have a melee attack and a variety of tools that are used for environmental puzzles. Sometimes you split the characters apart to go through parallel paths where each one clears for the other. The puzzle design never gets too frustrating, with only a handful requiring real reaction time. The combat is another story; you are at a dead halt when attacking, you take a half step forward with each swing, and most enemies don't suffer knockback. They also tend to have way too much health; 4-8 attacks is the average for enemies through the game. If you think this is a recipe for taking a ton of damage, you're right. The game is stingy with drops but has a cooking system that makes up for it, so you're never in real danger as long as you keep your backpack full of food.

The story segments are where the Mother 3 inspiration really shows. Aside from the obvious aesthetic lift, the characterizations are very heavily inspired by Mother 3. However, they only seem to capture the surface elements, without understanding the deeper why. The characters fall into "look at how quirky they are, isn't that charming?" without having depth behind the quirk like Mother 3 did. There isn't any commentary going on, just some wacky characters. This gets especially grating in the middle of the game, where you have a very artificially drawn-out sequence where you keep getting sidetracked to help out other characters because Sam is an 8-year-old with no impulse control and John is a mute who just rolls with anything Sam wants. In fact, the single biggest thing I noticed in the game is the devs lack the sense to know when NOT to put something in, whether it be an extra puzzle sequence or lines of dialogue. You could cut out half of the game's required text without actually losing any substance, and that's not a good place to be.

That said, this game will appeal to a specific type of person, the kind who talks to every NPC, learns their stories, then talks to them again after every event in case there is more to those stories. There's definite catnip there for that sort of player. But it didn't land for me; there was a general purposelessness to things, and the combat missteps exacerbate things.
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
alienjesus
Next-Gen
Posts: 8797
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:10 pm
Location: London, UK.

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by alienjesus »

First 50:
1. Minit Switch eShop
2. The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors Switch
3. Cuphead Switch
4. Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course Switch
5. River City Girls Zero Switch
6. Bayonetta 3 Switch
7. Fire Emblem Engage Switch
8. Cannon Dancer - Osman Switch
9. Metal Slug X MVS
10. Metal Slug 3 MVS
11. Garou: Mark of the Wolves MVS
12. Windjammers MVS
13. Clockwork Aquario Switch
14. Psychonauts XBox
15. Yume Penguin Monogatari FC
16. Mappy Kids FC
17. Wonder Boy Switch
18. Wonder Boy in Monster Land Switch
19. Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair Switch
20. Minecraft Switch eShop
21. Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap Switch
22. Wonder Boy in Monster World Switch
23. We Love Katamari PS2
24. Monster World 4 Switch
25. Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge Switch eShop
26. Parappa the Rapper 2 PS2
27. Gunpey WS
28. Magical Drop for Wonderswan WS
29. Buffer's Evolution WS
30. XI [sai] Little WSC
31. Kaze No Klonoa: Moonlight Museum WS
32. Dream: Art's Journey PS4
33. Dreams: LOCK PS4
34. Dark Cloud PS2
35. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest Switch eShop
36. Sly Raccoon PS2
37. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back PS1
38. Boku No Dracula-Kun Switch eShop
39. Rockman & Forte: Mirai Kara No Chōsensha WS
40. Jumping Flash PS1
41. Shock Troopers: 2nd Squad MVS
42. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 GC
43. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader GC
44. Terranigma SNES
45. Neo Drift Out: New Technology MVS
46. Sakura Taisen Saturn
47. Samba De Amigo DC
48. Pikmin 4 Switch
49. Pokémon Emerald GBA
50. Super Mario 3D World Switch

51. Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin PSVR
52. Stray PS5
53. Bowser's Fury Switch
54. Super Mario Bros. Wonder Switch *NEW*
55. Luigi's Mansion 3 Switch *NEW*
56. Battalion Wars GC *NEW*
57. Ratchet & Clank PS4 *NEW*
58. Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy MVS *NEW*
59. Blue's Journey MVS *NEW*
60. WarioWare: Move It! Switch *NEW*
61. Silent Bomber PS1 *NEW*
62. Gimmick! Switch *NEW*
63. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
*NEW*

Posting my final reviews for 2023 - I'll also post my top 10 games of 2023 later too!

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Image

I’m generally a bigger fan of 3D mario games than 2D ones, but I was quite looking forward to playing through Mario Wonder when it was released. Recent Mario games have been amongst my all-time favourites in the series (3D World, Bowser’s Fury, Odyssey) so the series has been on form. Wonder also hit at a perfect time for me – about a week after my first baby was born, so having a game I could pick up and play in small doses was perfect.

Thankfully, Wonder lived up to my expectations and then some. Just about every level was a delight – fun, creative and charming. The difficulty was a bit low overall I thought, even the special world levels weren’t too challenging, besides the final final stage which was pretty rough – but still easier than equivalent final stages in other Mario titles. It didn’t matter to me though, as I had such a blast throughout. I completed the game 100% with all 10 flower coins collected, flagpoles reached, standees acquired, stages completed and wonder seeds acquired. This is probably my favourite 2D mario to date.


Luigi’s Mansion 3

Image

Luigi’s Mansion 3 was a game I started a little bit before Mario Wonder, but it went on hold for a bit due to my baby arriving. The game is pretty long so it took me a while to work through, and that’s probably the games only major flaw. It’s a great game, with lots to see and do, fun gameplay and puzzles and some creative bosses – but it also gets a bit repetitive and so it’s not a game you’ll want to rush through in a handful of plays.

Combat especially happens often and lacks some variety. You’ll mainly utilise the new slam mechanic as your primary mode of attack. Bosses utilise other abilities, but a few of these are used infrequently enough in both combat and exploration that I kept forgetting I could do them – primarily the blast of air that functioned as a ‘jump’ of sorts.

The standout element of this game is definitely the presentation and character. The game looks fantastic, and Luigi’s animations are super charming and help make him a very loveable protagonist. The game seems to take a step away from the more generic ghosts from Luigi’s Mansion 2 a little with a few more unique ghosts in the vein of Luigi’s Mansion 1, but it’s still not quite there I think.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 was a fun game to play through during October, and I’d definitely play 4 if and when it inevitably comes out. I just hope they focus on adding a little more gameplay variety so that the game feels less drawn out.


Battalion Wars

Image

Battalion Wars began life as an Advance Wars spin-off, before being repositioned to be more of it’s own thing. You can see the inspiration is still there though, with a lot of classic advance wars units like mechs, missile launchers, bombers, fighters, tanks and more. The big difference though is that this game is a third person action game with some basic strategy elements overlaid, rather than a turn based strategy title.

You control one unit at a time but can change which unit you play as at any time. Other units can be commanded to follow you or stand and guard an area, but this is about the limit of your capabilities in terms of strategy. At first I focused deliberately on keeping units away from enemies they were vulnerable to, but after a while I figured out that things generally went better if you travelled en-masse and just focused on manually playing as whatever unit had an advantage. Sometimes success was at the whim of your allied AI, which is crap, but to be fair so is the enemy AI so it balances out. The gameplay is fine, but nothing super compelling.

Where the game falls down for me is in the presentation. Unlike Advance Wars, which was super charming, had great music and loveable characters, Battalion Wars fails on all fronts. You play as the not-americans at war with the not-russians, before later allying with them against the not-germans. The not-Japanese army is here too but for some reason they all have Chinese names (despite being the ‘solar empire’, clearly alluding to Japan. All the characters are awful stereotypes accompanied by terrible accents (the solar empire accents are particularly egregious). They are completely generic, unlikeable, and lacking in pretty much any type of character. The games graphics look like a souped-up early iphone game in style, and the music is about as generic as it gets.

I didn’t have a bad time with Battalion Wars, but I’d struggle to recommend it. There’s so many alternatives out there with more charm, more quality or more individuality than this one. My ultimate summary of the game is ‘yep, that sure was a video game’.


Ratchet & Clank

Image

This was my first time playing through a Ratchet & Clank title. I recently picked up the PS5 game but felt like I should try and get some idea of the characters and story before jumping in on the latest entry, so I decided to first play through the PS4 remake/reboot of the first title. I’ve heard this is considered a weaker entry, but I got it for free when Sony offered it during lockdown, so I figured why not. And overall, I had a pretty good time with it.

Ratchet and Clank is a hybrid platformer and 3rd person shooter, although I found that as the game progressed it tended to go from more of the former to more of the latter. Each world features a small self-contained area to explore, fighting enemies and accomplishing mission objectives. It’s not exactly breaking any boundaries in game design, but it all felt fun and polished throughout and I enjoyed it. There’s enough variety to keep things interesting, and the game manages to avoid the potential ‘bad Dreamworks movie’ feel that a lot of western developed IPs aimed at kids often suffer from. Speaking of Dreamworks though, the game looked fantastic, and could easily be mistaken for an animated movie at points. I hear the PS5 game is even more impressive on this front.

I’m not sure I’m so in love with Ratchet & Clank that I feel the need to play through the apparently 10 million entries in the series prior to this one, but I’m definitely looking forward to playing through Rift Apart and I’d happily have a go at other entries in the series if an opportunity arose. Sony have long since abandoned a lot of their classic platforming IPs so it’s nice to see at least one of them is still getting new games.


Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy

Image

Top Hunter is a side scrolling action game for Neo Geo. You play as either Roddy or Cathy (both in 2 player, which is how I played through this one) and you walk through stages grabbing, punching and throwing enemies. The stages are designed on two planes, a foreground and background which often feature different topography and obstacles, but you can jump between them at almost any time, similar to Fatal Fury, or Guardian Heroes. The heroes have stretchy arms which they use to punch, reach out and grab enemies or pull levers and pulleys. You can also jump in mechs or pick up guns sometimes to shoot enemies.

The game features quite a few stages in the usual themes (woods, fire, mine etc) to work through and some fun and challenging boss fights. It looks great too. It is very clearly an arcade game though, and the challenge level is very high. Me and my friend definitely credit fed through this one!

Overall I enjoyed Top Hunter, but it’s not a game that would be amongst my highest recommendations on the system. It’s hard to articulate what’s wrong with it, as it’s got a lot to offer, but the overall experience is good, but not great.


Blue’s Journey

Image

Blue’s Journey is a platforming game for Neo Geo. You play as Blue, who is a little bug guy, out to save the princess from an evil dude is also polluting your planet. You do this by platforming through levels defeating enemies with a variety of weapons – your main one being a leaf that flips enemies allowing you to throw them, but you also get some other options such as bombs which arc downward. You can also shrink at will to fit through small gaps, but can’t attack whilst small.

The game is pretty generic overall, but it is quite charming, especially it’s god-awful translation which is barely comprehensible. One thing which isn’t generic is the difficulty though, which gets very extreme by the end – I credit fed through this one and used way more than most neo geo titles.

Blue’s Journey is a fun enough little game, but it’s definitely a B-tier title for the system and the genre.


WarioWare: Move It!

Image

WarioWare: Move It! Is the newest entry in the series for Switch, and is essentially a direct sequel to the Wii’s WarioWare: Smooth Moves. It follows the usual WarioWare structure, with super quick mini-games being fired at the player in rapid succession. Smooth Moves used ‘forms’ – positions to hold the Wiimote for each minigame, and Move It does the same – only this time with both joycons meaning that there’s a bigger variety of positions and actions to perform. This can mean the game is slightly less intuitive perhaps, but it also means that the mini games are even more creative and fun.

One aspect that is a little disappointing is the lack of extra stuff to do or unlock outside of the main story. There are a few new modes unlocked, but compared to the variety of random toys, mini-games and more which could be unlocked in the GBA and DS titles, the later WarioWare titles feel a little lacking. It only takes about 3 hours to play through the game and unlock everything, at which point the only thing left to do is play for high scores.

Despite feeling a bit lean, this is a great entry and the series and a ton of fun. Absolutely recommended, but perhaps worth waiting for a discount if you want value for money.


Silent Bomber

Image

Silent Bomber is an action game for PS1 where you play as Jutah, a mercenary with a traumatic past and a penchant for blowing stuff up. You’re part of a mission to destroy a giant intergalactic battleship which is bearing down on your planet about to destroy it. The assault on the battleship goes wrong and your landing pod along with it’s crews are the only survivors. You have to explore the inside of the battleship taking down it’s defences, weak points and the armed mech guards who protect it.

Silent Bomber is an arcadey action game and is a ton of fun. You can lay bombs with square, or hold square to lock onto targets in a certain range and launch bombs onto them. You can then detonate all bombs with a button press. Pressing X makes you jump and double tapping it gives an evasive dash. Finally you can use some special bombs that stun enemies or cover an area in fire to deal continuous damage. Each level contains power-chips which can be used to up the number of bombs you can lay, extend the range of your lock-on, or decrease the damage you can take. These can be reassigned between stages to customise your loadout by level.

The difficulty of the game gets pretty high, but it never feels completely unfair and often a new P-chip loadout can make all the difference. The game is only a few hours long but it’s a fun time throughout. This is a cult classic game and it’s worthy of the title – it’s a great time and a game I’d highly recommend for the system.


Gimmick!

Image

There’s been a trend recently of rare and expensive retro games getting modern rereleases. Games like Gley Lancer, Hammering Harry, Wild Guns, Mega Man: The Wily Wars and more getting rereleases is a trend I’m all in favour of, and so I was delighted when Mr. Gimmick, one of the most expensive NES games, was announced to be getting a Switch release. Especially as it has a very similar look and feel to Trip World, another game by the same company which I adore.

Gimmick is a very technically impressive title for the NES, with vibrant colourful graphics and some impressive physics. Gimmicks speeds up as he declines slopes, and attacks by throwing stars which bounce around the environment. You can also jump on a star that bounces off a wall to ride it and jump off to higher platforms you otherwise couldn’t reach. This is very difficult to pull off though as the star moves very quickly and angling it is challenging.

And unfortunately, despite all it’s impressive achievements, the challenge level is what really let the game down for me. Gimmick is hard to a fault – the level designs are difficult, full of deliberate and mean-spirited traps that you can only avoid by knowing they will happen before they do. There’s also items which need to be acquired for the true ending that require you to do incredibly difficult platforming actions, often in ways where a single mistake means you’ll miss out unless you die and restart the level or reset the whole game.

Gimmick isn’t awful, but it’s designed in a way which just isn’t that fun. It’s a shame I didn’t enjoy it considering how much I like trip world, but at least I didn’t have to pay a few hundred quid to figure that out.


Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

Image

I’ve played through Klonoa several times at this point so I won’t spend long writing about it. Needless to say, it’s a fantastic game, one of the best on PS1. I managed to find a cheap copy earlier in the year which I was delighted by because it’s normally quite pricy, so I gave it a replay now I own a copy for original hardware. This time I played through rescuing all of the citizens for 100% completion and unlocking the secret final level, which is a more challenging platforming gauntlet. It’s not a long game, but it’s fun throughout and is highly recommended.
Image
User avatar
alienjesus
Next-Gen
Posts: 8797
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:10 pm
Location: London, UK.

Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by alienjesus »

Time for AJ's end of year wrap up and top 10!

First up some stats.

Games beaten in 2023: 63

Digital vs Physical games beaten:
Digital games: 8
Physical games: 55

Pretty much par for the course for me - many of my digital games were part of the Castlevania Anniversary Collection on switch, so in reality I played even less digitally than it seems.

Home console vs portable breakdown:
Home console games beaten: 29
Handheld games beaten: 33
VR games beaten: 1

Surprisingly even split between console and handheld this year, with handheld dominating the first half the of the year and home consoles making up more of the second half.

Games beaten by generation:
3rd gen (NES/SMS): 2
4th gen (SNES/MD/NG/PCE/GB): 9
5th gen (N64/Saturn/PS1/GBC/WSC): 11
6th gen (GC/DC/PS2/Xbox/GBA): 9
7th gen (Wii/PS3/360/DS/PSP): 0
8th gen (Wii U/Switch/PS4/3DS/Vita): 31
9th gen (PS5): 1

This is a bit misleading as most of my gen 8 beats were on Switch, and actually quite a number of them were ports of much older games from compilations and rereleases. It's been a much more retro year for me this time round.

Breakdown by console:
Dreamcast: 1
Gamecube: 2
GBA: 1
Neo Geo: 8
NES: 2
PS1: 4
PS2: 4
PS4: 4
PS5: 1
Saturn: 1
SNES: 1
Switch: 27
Wonderswan/ Color: 6
Xbox: 1

Somehow I still have about 80 unfinished switch games despite beating so many in 2023. Hopefully I can bring that number down in 2024.

Breakdown by genre:
Action: 2
Action Adventure: 8
Adventure: 2
Beat em up: 4
Fighting: 1
Flight combat: 1
Party: 1
Platformer: 20
Puzzle: 4
Racing: 1
Rhythm: 2
RPG: 3
Run n Gun: 6
Sports: 2
Strategy: 3
Other: 3

I played way more platformers this year than I realised. I didn't finish many RPGs though which is a problem as I have so many on the backlog. Best tackle that in 2024!


And finally, my Top 10 games beaten in 2023!

First off, I'm excluding any games I played in 2023 which I've already beaten previously, as I wanted to focus this list on new experiences. Titles like Klonoa and Mario 3D World are fantastic games but they made lists I've down previously already! In addition, I played a lot of great games this year, so my honourable mentions list is full of titles that would have absolutely been deserving of a spot in other years:

Honourable mentions:
Sly Raccoon, Jumping Flash, Yume Penguin Monogatari, Castlevania II: Simons Quest, Star Wars Rogue Squadron 2, Sakura Taisen, Samba De Amigo, Luigis Mansion 3, Ratchet & Clank, Gunpey, Shock Troopers 2nd Squad, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, The Ninja Saviors, Terranigma


And finally, onto my top 10:

10:
Silent Bomber

Silent Bomber isn’t perfect by any means – the difficulty is inconsistent and it has it’s frustrating moments. But it is fun to play, addictive to go back for one more try and doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. A great game for PS1.


9:
Neo Drift Out: New Technology

I wouldn’t have guessed this would be my favourite Neo Geo title of all the ones I played in 2023, but here it is. This is a super arcadey top-down racer that feels super smooth to play and controls fantastically. It’s really short and pretty tough as you’d expect from an arcade game, but it’s always a blast to play.


8:
Dreams: LOCK

Probably the biggest surprise on my top 10 this year, LOCK is a puzzle game built using the tools inside Dreams. It’s a tough escape room type game with lots of meta elements and thinking outside of the box. Me, my wife and a buddy had a fantastic time working through it all last summer, and it’s surprisingly content rich to boot.


7:
Bowser’s Fury

Although 3D World is excluded from the top 10 as I’ve played it before, this was my first time through the side mode they added on Switch. It takes the incredibly solid mechanics from what was already one of Mario’s best titles and remixes them into an open world adventure that is an absolute joy to play through for the 5 or so hours it lasts.


6:
We Love Katamari

I’ve not played a ton of the series, but it is safe to say I do indeed Love Katamari. This sequel takes everything that was great about the first game and just gives you way more of it. The music is wonderful, the gameplay is addictive and it’s the type of game you’ll do just one more level on until you realise it’s 4 hours later and you’re still going.


5:
Psychonauts

Psychonauts is a series I’ve been meaning to try that I felt certain I would love, and it turns out I was correct – the world and characters of Psychonauts are super charming, and the creativity in the level design is fantastic. It’s not perfect – the latter levels are the most interesting stages but the least interesting part of the story – but it’s still super fun. I had a lot of technical issues running this on 360, but they weren’t enough to hamper my experience.


4:
Cuphead

Cuphead is another game I knew I would love, and when it finally got it’s long awaited physical release, I picked it up and gave it a play through. There were a couple of teething troubles early as I got used to the rhythm of the game, but once I settled in I fell in love with the colourful animation, fantastic soundtrack and challenging boss rush gameplay. And the included DLC campaign on the cartridge was a fantastic bonus to boot, and just adds even more top-tier game to enjoy.


3:
Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is my vote for the best 2D mario game to date. It refreshes the series with lots of creativity and charm, the type of which has been seen much more in 3D mario games more recently. I 100% completed the game in quick bursts between looking after a newborn baby, and I was always looking forward to the next go.


2:
Pikmin 4

It was a real toss-up for me which of my top 2 games would take the top-spot, and if you asked me on another day, Pikmin 4 might have taken it. It’s a polished, content rich experience in a series I adore, that takes some of my least favourite mechanics from Pikmin 2 and makes them much more fun. It’s a bit easy for the majority of the game, but the end game/post-game challenges are a real test of skill and super fun to work through. I think 3 is still my favourite in the series, but if the quality is going to remain this high, I really hope we don’t have to wait another decade for the next title in the series.


1:
Fire Emblem Engage

Fire Emblem is a series I love, but after Three Houses I had started to think that the direction the series headed was one I wasn’t into as much. That game focused more on building and customising units and pre-battle preparation, in my opinion at the expense of interesting map design, moment to moment strategizing and utilising limited resources effectively. The gacha-esque mechanics of the emblem rings in Engage’s trailers also made me nervous that it was going to lean into Heroes *the mobile games) mechanics. So imagine my surprise when Engage actually felt far more like the Fire Emblem games I used to love, with interesting map designs, characters with more defined roles and weaknesses, and (at least early on) limited class customisation. The difficulty (at least on hard) was pitched just right to offer up a satisfying challenge, and the emblems allowed for a lot of strategic uses compatabile with a variety of classes rather than having obvious ‘best’ uses. The story isn’t wonderful, but to be honest neither is the story in most Fire Emblems, and this at least had enough character to be memorable. I hope we get to see more Fire Emblem games that build on the mechanics from Engage, because in my eyes this is one of the absolute best in the series.
Image
Post Reply