Games Beaten 2024

Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by MrPopo »

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

1. Tormented Souls - Switch
2. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II - PC

Battlefleet Gothic is a spinoff game from Warhammer 40k; it features space battles between the giant, kilometer log ships of the setting that treats them like Age of Sail tall ships. So you have tons of broadsides, slow circling, and building a line of battle. Armada 2 is the second video game adaptation and serves as an overall improvement in every way to the original (as I understand it).

The game is set during the 13th Black Crusade and the fall of Cadia. In fact, the opening tutorial mission features the climactic moments of that battle. Once you're past that you move into a larger campaign to try and retake the area around the Eye of Terror. Of course, Aeldari, Tyranids, Necros, and Orks show up so you have some variety in the enemies you fight. Your ultimate goal is to defeat Abaddon, but the road is long.

The game is very reminiscent of Empire at War. You have a strategic layer where you manage your fleets as you move them around planets and build up the planets for economy and other benefits, and then you have a real time space battle section whenever fleets encounter each other. And like Empire at War, the space battles quickly lose their novelty due to them not really having any meaningful terrain. There are gas clouds for hiding in and asteroid fields which serve as obstacles, but they are randomly distributed and don't really provide the same kind of considerations as battlefield terrain in a traditional RTS.

In addition to the enemy being able to invade you from neighboring systems, enemies can randomly trigger an invasion of any planet you control (with some limits, but you're never 100% safe). This is the mechanic that really draws things out, as you always have to keep fleets back in your empire to react to these incursions. There are also a series of side quests for each non-Chaos race to be able to turn off their ability to do these random invasions, which is another chunk of length.

The game ships with multiple campaigns, Imperium, Necron, and Tyranid. There is also a Chaos campaign DLC. However, you're always on the same overall map, and as mentioned the actual gameplay gets very samey. Once you've done a few fights with a given fleet against another given fleet there isn't much more to see. My recommendation is to play just one campaign and move on.
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RobertAugustdeMeijer
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by RobertAugustdeMeijer »

The Last of Us

In I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, Ellen cannot interact with yellow objects because of having been raped by someone in yellow overalls. Once the player overcomes her past trauma, she is able to venture deeper into the colorful pyramid. It’s long been my favorite example of narrative and mechanics working together in unison.
Naughty Dog games have often been criticized for not caring much about this. Heck, they even gave an achievement “ludonarrative dissonance” when you have Drake kill a thousand people. This never bothered me much because the Uncharted series is so over the top, I couldn’t expect it to take the player seriously if it wasn’t going to take itself seriously. But The Last of Us seemed to have a more serious tone. So I thought this might be different. The lacklustre combat didn’t help, but what really made progress a slog was having to play Joel, an egotistical maniac I which didn’t feel comfortable walking in his shoes. I kept reminding myself that his condition was like Ellen’s: he’s like that because he lost his daughter and the reason you’re forced to play a jerk is because he’s bound to his trauma. Ultimately, I figured my only choice as a player was to either carry on, or just stop. I preferred the later.
The accolades kept piling on: The Ten, the #2 in Edge’s all-time list in 2015, and recently a higher ranking than Deus Ex in 2023. Not having finished such a “great” game had gnawed on my consciousness for a decade. Thus, I gave it another shot. I figured I was in a win-win situation: either it’s really as bad as I thought it was, and that would mean I was right the whole time. Or it was really good, and then I would enjoy it! Winning! Also, I had been preparing for this moment the last couple of years. Triple-A cinematic blockbusters have never been my cup of tea, so I beat dozens of them: Jedi Fallen Order, Uncharted 4, Plague Tale, GoW, RDD, CoD, AC, etc. Perhaps their language, their passion, their secret, could be revealed to me. Sadly, nothing was. (In case you’re wondering why I haven’t been sending many letters recently, it’s because I’ve been playing soulless commercial cash-grabs with nothing interesting to write about). But what I did obtain was a level of tolerance for the mundane and the nonsensical. I felt ready to push on.
The first time I stopped playing TLoU was after Ellie saves Joel and is allowed to carry a gun. On one hand, this is great writing: Joel learns to trust her and now the gameplay is different, easier. But on the other hand, it was not me, the player, who gained her trust. No, it was the Joel in the cutscenes who got pushed off a ladder. An event forced on to me by the developers. I never needed Ellie’s help in combat. I felt so disrespected, I quit.
This time around I got further and almost enjoyed playing it. I got to be Ellie, and her actions made sense: sure, Joel was a criminal, but he didn’t deserve to die by starvation and cold. Yes, the amount of folks I had to kill was absurd, but I had become numb to AAA-logic by now. Playing again as Joel was harsh: no option to listen to Ellie’s plight to save humanity. Again, telling myself this man is hurt. It makes sense. He would murder every last human being if it meant saving her life. I abided.
But it was the last part that stung. I knew that Joel had lied about the operation. Looking at Ellie’s expressions, I figured she knew too. Playing her again, I am asked to grab his hand to climb a ledge. I so badly did not trust this psychopath. I did the logical thing, turned around and ran back to the car. Of course, I wasn’t given the option to ride away. But I had to try.
After a moment I figured I'd head back. Perhaps it was curiosity, perhaps there was a faint hope that my partner actually loved me, genuinely loved me, enough to respect me with the truth. The dangling arm seemed symbolic enough. I’ll bite.
You already know how this ends. A part of me wants to play Part II just to see the motherfucker die. But I hear it’s not as good as the first, and I detested the first, so I’ll pass. I’m playing Pathologic 2 and I’m feeling much, much better already.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

marurun wrote:
Raging Justice wrote:It's kind of fascinating when that happens. Like sometimes journalists will crap all over a game and it doesn't sound like the game is actually bad, it's just that they don't particularly like what the game does. Sometimes that just means that particular journalist is not the target audience


Any good or experienced reviewer who hasn’t mistakenly taken themselves as the sole arbiter of taste will recognize this. When magazine used to have stables of reviewers they often tried to pair games with folks who generally liked key genres. But reviews are most useful when they tell us about the game and not just a score. I was really fond of Ebert for movies not because I agreed with him but because the way he wrote his reviews and what I knew about his preferences were helpful for predicting what my opinions might be of a film.


I agree. I think it’s important to keep in mind that people have different tastes and not everyone will like the same thing. (The world would be a very dull place otherwise.) I frequently disagreed with Ebert, but I always appreciated the thoughtfulness in his reviews.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Markies »

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2024!
***Denotes Replay For Completion***

1. Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
2. Jackal (NES)

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I completed Jackal on the Nintendo Entertainment System this afternoon!

Jackal is a game I knew a little about when I was a kid. I saw it a few times and I may have rented it, but that was the extent of it. What really got me into the game was when I watched the Backloggery Live of them co-oping the game. I knew it wasn't an expensive game and it seemed really doable for a NES game. So, when I was rebuilding my Backlog and I found it at a local game store in good condition, then I knew I had to have it. I wanted to start the year off with a simple NES game to beat before diving into my next long RPG, I decided to give it a shot.

It is always great to discover a great NES Konami game because all of the staples are right there for you to enjoy. Right away, you get to hear that classic Konami sound and music and it plays throughout the entire game. It has a fantastic 8-bit soundtrack and it is a pure Konami staple. The game is fairly simple as you are a Jeep in Vietnam trying to rescue your soldiers and defeating the enemy along the way. It's a Shooter, but you actually control the screen and that is the most important aspect in the game. Trajectory and Angles along with going slowly will net you victory. You are quite under-powered, so you have to take every advantage that you can. Take out each enemy one at a time and put yourself in a position to hit the enemy and always make certain to dodge their shots. Once you get in the patterns or in the zone of the game, it is quite addictive.

However, once the wheels fall off, it is hard to get back into the groove. Once you die, you lose any power-ups that you have and it makes the game that much harder. Also, even though it is a short game with only six levels, not having infinite continues makes the game that much harder. You finally feel like you know what to do in a level and then you have to start the game all over again. It would have made the game so much more inviting to play.

Overall, I still really enjoyed my time with Jackal. I wouldn't call it as the same level as Contra for Konami NES affair, but I would say it is a solid B level game. It is a perfectly good game for those of us that love NES games and want to play one that we haven't played to death. If you love NES action games and want to try a more inviting Shooter compared to something like Gradius, Jackal is a game that you might enjoy and uncover for yourself.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by MrPopo »

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

1. Tormented Souls - Switch
2. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II - PC
3. Fantasy Empires - PC

Back in the day SSI held the AD&D license and helped put out a lot of games using it. Most notable is the Gold Box series, but another one that I have fond memories of is Fantasy Empires. It was produced by a young Silicon Knights, building off of their first game to produce a strategy game set in the Mystara world.

The game setup has a Risk-style map where you manage your empire. Each territory needs a keep to sustain operations, but then you can build up to eight more buildings. Armories are for troops, while mage and cleric towers are to make those respective heroes. Finally, you can add castle walls; important for defense. You start with one territory, and your goal is to take out all your opponents, who are trying to do the same thing. Each territory produces tax income, so you'll spend the early game spreading out.

One important mechanic is that at the start of your turn, any territory that lacks a keep will have you start to lose troops. This includes territories you've recently captured, so your army is going to dwindle over time. Properly managing your supply chain is essential; since many troops (ranged and siege engines) take multiple turns to produce you'll need to be thinking ahead. Knowing when to build more armories vs. using your existing ones is essential, as the battle lines move across the map.

Part of what makes this an AD&D game is the existence of heroes. These are special troops, some of which replicate regular troops, while the casters are their own thing. Heroes can be used in battle or can be sent on quests. A hero that survives battle or a quest levels up, becoming more powerful. Heroes sent on quests are gone for multiple turns but can come back with magical items. Some of these improve the hero, while others help out the realm. The best ones are the ones that allow you to cast spells. Spells are a mechanic where your magic heroes produce mana energy, and once enough has built up you can cast a spell on an enemy territory. This is a great way to deal with enemy infra and large armies, especially any that's behind the front lines. Magic items turbo charge your ability to cast magic, as they have multiple charges that can be used in rapid succession. But beware; heroes can be killed on quests, removing all that hard work.

The game has a persistent element, where you create a character who is your ruler who levels up as you win games. This will cause you to start new games with improved heroes, giving you access to magic much faster (as magic generation is based on level). This also serves as a difficulty setting, as enemies have levels, and higher level enemies can be tossing magic at you as well. However, you're always fighting on the same map, so once you've figured out a good strategy you'll be repeating the same thing over and over. There's a handful of scenarios with pre-placed forces, but those are mostly just to let you start at midgame.

Oh, I almost forgot to go over how combat works. When you invade a territory (or you get invaded), you are given a screen where you place your units. They fall into three general categories; melee, ranged, and siege, and you can give your army a general order of how they should maneuver (everyone sit tight and shoot, maneuver the ranged units, or just bum rush). You are given command of one unit, and can swap between the others as you choose. You also can just let things run automatically. And if you don't want to do the battles you can trigger it to just run a calculation and figure out who wins. Generally, running simulation benefits armies that are ranged based, while letting things play out lets melee armies do better into ranged armies (though they're still sad). Troops that win multiple battles will rank up, which makes them significantly more powerful. But remember that mechanic where invasions lose you troops; you won't be able to sustain an elite army forever.

The game definitely has some jank, and it doesn't have a huge amount of replay. But it does support local co-op; if you create several human players it'll let you take turns sequentially and do battles on each half of the keyboard.
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elricorico
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by elricorico »

1. Sonic Lost World (WiiU)

Last night I beat Sonic Lost World on the Wii U. I put in about 11 hours of playing time. This is a game I bought fairly close to its release but it had already received a discount probably due to poor sales/reviews. I had dabble a little back then but put it aside for games I was more into. Last year I decided it was next up for my Wii U. I thought I could beat it in 2023, but I let other games distract me.

I'll say that as far as the platform games I've played(at least the more modern ones) this is a solid B grade game. Mostly good, but nothing groundbreaking. Some irritating design choices and difficulty is very uneven. At times when it leaves you a lot of choice on how to proceed I really enjoyed it. At times when there felt like only one "right" way to pass through a section I found myself getting annoyed a number of times. I found the last couple of zones far harder than the final boss was, and each had examples of parts where it wasn't really clear what the game wanted out of me, to the point that I had to refer to a walkthrough more than once.

I'm glad I played it, I enjoy continuing to get use out of the Wii U, and there is some good fun here. However it comes with some questionable design that dampened the overall impression for me.
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TheSSNintendo
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by TheSSNintendo »

Finished Yoshi's Crafted World. I'll pick up the rest of the flowers, red coins, etc. at another time.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

marurun wrote:
Raging Justice wrote:It's kind of fascinating when that happens. Like sometimes journalists will crap all over a game and it doesn't sound like the game is actually bad, it's just that they don't particularly like what the game does. Sometimes that just means that particular journalist is not the target audience


Any good or experienced reviewer who hasn’t mistakenly taken themselves as the sole arbiter of taste will recognize this. When magazine used to have stables of reviewers they often tried to pair games with folks who generally liked key genres. But reviews are most useful when they tell us about the game and not just a score. I was really fond of Ebert for movies not because I agreed with him but because the way he wrote his reviews and what I knew about his preferences were helpful for predicting what my opinions might be of a film.


Especially with games/films/etc I don't really enjoy, I always try and keep in mind how much it's something designed for me in the first place, so to speak. Especially in genres I'm not a huge fan of (like racing games or FPS), it's not always the easiest thing to do, but I really try and think "well how much of this is the game actively failing to do things right, and how much of this is just me not playing the game very well?" <w>
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opa
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by opa »

Markies wrote:Once you die, you lose any power-ups that you have and it makes the game that much harder.

Jackal is one of my favorite NES games but I still haven't finished it and this^ is why. Once you die it feels like you're screwed and you should just start over.
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Raging Justice
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Raging Justice »

opa wrote:
Markies wrote:Once you die, you lose any power-ups that you have and it makes the game that much harder.

Jackal is one of my favorite NES games but I still haven't finished it and this^ is why. Once you die it feels like you're screwed and you should just start over.


This was what made The Adventures of Batman and Robin on the Sega Genesis so hard.
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