Games Beaten 2021

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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

Happy New Year! Looking forward to reading about all the games you play in 2022! Before closing out 2021, however, I have to post my top ten games of the year. More importantly, however, let’s talk a bit about the WORST games I played in 2021!

5. Robbit Mon Dieu (PS1) - I love Jumping Flash and Jumping Flash 2, and while this game wasn’t really that bad, it’s a big step down from its predecessors. More disappointing than anything.

4. Vigilante (Master System) - Every version of Vigilante is bad, but this one is probably the worst. That’s not a knock against the Sega Master System. The porting job is actually really good, and it captured the original game’s horrendous input lag almost perfectly! Still, the worst version of a bad game is a bad game.

3. Streets of Rage (Game Gear) - An abysmal port of a legendary beat ‘em up. This game is just way too hard, and if you lose your weapon, you might as well just restart the game.

2. Ninja Gaiden III (Lynx) - Ninja Ryukenden III is actually a pretty good game. The NES port turns the difficulty way up, however, ruining a good time. The Lynx version takes the NES version and trashes the graphics, and the music is a crime against humanity.

1. Timothy and the Mysterious Forest (Switch) - The video game equivalent of a rail accident, Timothy and the Mysterious Forest is such a tragedy, you can’t really look away from it. With graphics inspired by Link’s Awakening, it looks like it should be a good time. Unfortunately, however, the game is just a series of fetch quests frequently punctuated by the cheapest deaths possible. Stepping on a tile with a single pixel out of place will kill you. Answering a NPC’s nonsense question wrong will kill you. An enemy getting too close to you will kill you. This would be a really great time of you enjoyed all the cheapest, most annoying aspects of old Sierra adventure games, or if you just really like restarting. No one likes that, though, which is why Timothy and the Mysterious Forest is the worst game I played in 2021.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

OK…now for the best games I played in 2021:

Honorable Mentions: Alwa’s Legacy (Switch), Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth (Wii), Holedown (iOS), King’s Field (PS1), Legacy of the Wizard (NES), Mega Man 11 (Switch), Metroid Prime Federarion Force (3DS), MO: Astray (Switch), Shantae & The Seven Sirens (Switch), Steamworld Dig 2 (3DS)

10. Alwa’s Awakening (Switch) - This old-fashioned, pseudo 8-bit metroidvania may have rubbed a few of you the wrong way, but I absolutely loved it (even more than its more traditional and, likely, objectively better sequel). The game wasn’t afraid to be frustrating, and it let me find my own way through its sprawling world. I really appreciated that, and it made for one of my most rewarding video game experiences of 2021.

9. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch) - An absolutely stellar beat ‘em up that’s just as good, if not better than its distinguished forebears. Wholly deserving of the Streets of Rage name, and not to be missed by anyone even remotely a fan of the genre.

8. Olija (Switch) - A dark horse contender that I completed late in the year, Olija is a hauntingly beautiful platformer with graphics and sound inspired by classic “cinematic” games such as Another World, Flashback, and Karateka. Unlike those games, however, Olija is really approachable and as much fun to play as it is to watch.

7. Death’s Door (Switch) - Wholly deserving of its accolades in the gaming press, Death’s Door is a gorgeous, impeccably-designed “Zelda” game. Despite its brutal combat and frequently challenging gameplay, Death’s Door is never frustrating, and its delightful soundtrack made traversing even the most perilous dungeons surprisingly relaxing.

6. Operencia: The Stolen Sun (Switch) - Operencia is a beautiful first-person dungeon crawler that is equal parts Dungeon Master and Wizardry. With a cast of memorable characters, awesome locations, and a very steep challenge, no fan of the genre should miss out on this gem.

5. Portal 2 (PS3) - Portal 2 is stone-cold classic that holds up wonderfully, and I loved all of my time with it. The single-player campaign is great, and it remains the best first-person puzzle game. Moreover, the writing and voice acting are superb. Portal 2 is consistently challenging and funny, and the original (and tough!) co-op campaign makes an already stupendous game even better.

4. Ori & The Will of the Wisps (Switch) - A beautiful metroidvania that I couldn’t put down, Ori & The Will of the Wisps improved on its stellar predecessor in every way. When I beat it, I was convinced that it was one of the finest example of its genre and that there was no way the forthcoming Metroid Dread could improve upon it.

3. Metroid Dread (Switch) - To my delight, however, I was wrong, and Metroid Dread exceeded all my expectations. I loved exploring the game’s vast world, engaging in tense combat with deadly alien creatures, running away from the terrifying EMMIs, and nonchalantly shooting Kraid in the face. Everything about this game was, in my opinion, great, and I was so happy to get another great Metroid game after such a long wait.

2. Unsighted (Switch) - Unsighted is probably the best game I played in 2021. It’s easily the best “Zelda” game in years, and it’s central mechanic - a meaningful time limit - forces you to make impactful, often heart-wrenching decisions. On top of this, the game contains a beautiful love story, and its tragic narrative is steeped in meaning. The game’s mechanics, including its great parry-based combat, are perhaps even stronger, and the game is overflowing with content and, even better, very well-hidden secrets that are actually worth discovering. I really can’t recommend this game highly enough, and the fact it isn’t appearing on more 2021 “best of” lists is deeply disappointing to me. Play this game!

1. Ghostrunner (Switch) - While Unsighted was the best game I played in 2021, Ghostrunner was undoubtedly my favorite. While it’s extremely challenging, no other gaming experience is 2021 really compares to running along a wall, hopping on an enemy drone, stabbing it with a sword and crashing it into an enemy thug just before deflecting another thug’s bullet back at him for an instant kill. Ghostrunner is full of totally awesome moments like these, and I absolutely loved it.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

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

Games 1~51
1. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
2. Portal 2 (PC) *
3. Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PS2)
4. Pipo Saru 2001 (PS2)
5. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64)
6. Atelier Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PS2)
7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SFC)
8. The Legend of Mystical Ninja (SFC)
9. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PS1)
10. Ganbare Goemon 2 (SFC)
11. Paper Mario: Origami King (Switch)
12. Star Fox 64 (N64) *
13. Super Paper Mario (Wii) *
14. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC) *
15. Demon's Crest (SNES)
16. Cathedral (Switch)
17. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) *
18. Bowser's Fury (Switch)
19. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch)
20. moon (Switch)
21. Casltevania 64 (N64)
22. Captain Rainbow (Wii)
23. Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)
24. Blast Corps (N64)
25. Doraemon 2: Nobita To Hikari No Shinden (N64)
26. Custom Robo (N64)
27. Doraemon 3: Nobita No Machi SOS! (N64)
28. 64 Trump Collection: Alice No Wakuwaku Trump World (N64)
29. The Sunken City (PS4)
30. Lair of the Clockwork God (Switch)
31. Star Fox Adventures (GC)
32. Atelier Elie: The Alchemist of Salburg 2 (PS1)
33. Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg (GC)
34. Mole Mania (GB)
35. Gargoyle's Quest (GB)
36. Rock Man 4 (Famicom) *
37. Wai Wai World (Famicom)
38. Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge (GB)
39. Mega Man (Switch) *
40. Mega Man 2 (Switch) *
41. Mega Man 3 (Switch) *
42. Rock Man 5 (Famicom) *
43. Mega Man 6 (Switch)
44. Mega Man 7 (Switch) *
45. Mega Man 8 (Switch) *
46. Mega Man 9 (Switch) *
47. Mega Man 10 (Switch)
48. Rock Man World 2 (GB) *
49. Rock Man World 3 (GB)
50. Rock Man World 4 (GB)
51. Rock Man World 5 (GB)

Games 52~100
52. Wai Wai World 2 (Famicom)
53. Tiny Toon Adventures (Famicom)
54. King Kong 2: Ikari No Megaton Punch (Famicom)
55. Yume Pengin Monogatari (Famicom)
56. Rock Man & Forte (SFC)
57. Rock Man X2 (Switch)
58. Rock Man X3 (Switch)
59. Rock Man X4 (Switch)
60. Rock Man X5 (Switch)
61. Rock Man X6 (Switch)
62. Rock Man X7 (Switch)
63. Rock Man X8 (Switch)
64. Mega Man: Powered Up (PSP)
65. Magical Taruruuto Kun: FANTASTIC WORLD!! (Famicom)
66. Maken Shao (PS2)
67. Getsu Fuuma Den (Famicom)
68. Rock Man D.A.S.H (PSP)
69. Brave Fencer Musashi (PS1)
70. Joe & Mac (SFC) *
71. Atelier Lilie: The Alchemist of Salburg 3 (PS2)
72. Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link (Famicom)
73. The Bouncer (PS2)
74. Rapid Angel (PS1)
75. Atelier Totori: The Alchemist of Arland 2 (PS3)
76. Drakengard 3 (PS3)
77. Alwa's Awakening (Switch)
78. Hermina & Culus (PS2)
79. Atelier Meruru: The Alchemist of Arland 3 (PS3)
80. Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti (Switch)
81. Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana (PS2)
82. Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana 2 (PS2)
83. Mario Kart 64 (N64)
84. Super Mario Kart (SFC)
85. Mario Kart Super Circuit (3DS)
86. Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time (N64) *
87. Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64) *
88. Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap (3DS) *
89. Rock Man X: Command Mission (GC)
90. Pikmin (GC) *
91. Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GC) *
92. Far East of Eden 2: Manjimaru (GC)
93. Pikmin 2 (GC) *
94. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (GC) *
95. Shin Megami Tensei (SFC)
96. Metroid Prime (GC)
97. Bomberman Jetters (GC)
98. Maximo (PS2)
99. Operation Logic Bomb (SNES)
100. Bombuzal (SFC)

101. Splatterhouse (PCE)
102. Shin Megami Tensei 2 (SFC)
103. Shin Megami Tensei if... (SFC)
104. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner (Saturn)
105. Alundra (PS1)
106. Lunar: Silver Star Story (Saturn)
107. Tales of Xillia (PS3)
108. Digimon Rumble Arena (PS1)
109. Blue Stinger (DC)
110. Clockwork Knight (Saturn)
111. Tales of Xillia 2 (PS3)
112. Nightmare Creatures (PS1)
113. Tales of Rebirth (PSP)
114. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children: Red Book (GBC)
115. Heart of the Woods (PC)
116. Analogue: A Hate Story (PC)
117. Ibunroku Persona (PS1)
118. Megami Tensei: Last Bible (GB)
119. Mechstermination Force (Switch)
120. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (Switch)
121. Shining Force (Genesis)
122. Shining Wisdom (Saturn)
123. Pokemon Green (GB)
124. Shining Force 2 (Genesis)
125. Trash Quest (Switch)
126. Funny Field (GB)

127. Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible 2 (GB)

After enjoying the first Last Bible game so much, I was super stoked to be able to find this copy (which I'd read was just all around better) for so cheap locally. It took me a while to get to it, but I eventually did! XD. It took me around 17 or so hours (no in-game counter, so I gotta guess) to beat the game on real hardware via my GameBoy Player.

The story of Last Bible 2 is in the far, far future of the first game's world, but ultimately not meaningfully connected beyond some related terms. One day, the return of the monster (not demon, monster) king, who was sealed away 2000 years ago, is foretold, and in order to stop this, the kingdom kills all newborn children in an attempt to keep his herald from fulfilling that prophecy. 15 years later, you, a boy named Yuri, and his childhood friend in their monster village go off to the capital to seek adventure and join the army, ultimately (of course) being pulled into a big fight to save the world. There are a lot more characters, both playable and non-playable, who have better motives and development than the first game. It's still not anything truly amazing, but it was certainly a much more technically put together story than the first. The actual facts of what was happening were much more clear, as well as to why characters were doing what they were doing. I think ultimately the story's setup hurts rather than helps the game in other ways, but I'll get to that later ^^;. The story is pretty darn good and text-filled for a GameBoy game, and with the topics its dealing with really does feel closer to what you'd imagine an "SMT game but for kids" would be.

The mechanics of the game are very much like the first one but expanded and enhanced all around in many ways. You still are a main human character with a pool of other human party members, and you still can recruit un-leveling monsters to your side via conversations and fuse those monsters into stronger ones. You can still do monster fusion anywhere via a spell, but the save system has been toned back from "anywhere" to "anywhere that isn't in a dungeon". Those base mechanics have been modified a lot as well. Party members now come and go as story beats dictate, meaning that you need to be careful and modify your supplementary monsters as needed to be able to keep progressing. Monsters are of course fuse-able, but now they can all hold and use items and many can even use equipment too! The monster conversation system has also been significantly enhanced, and it actually feels much closer to the genuine conversational system of its SMT sister games instead of feeling like random A and B choices like Last Bible 1 had. Even the UI is improved, and while still not perfect, it's a lot faster and more convenient to navigate than it used to be (for the most part at least).

While those points are all well and good, but unfortunately Last Bible 2 ends up tripping up pretty hard in some places. A lot of it has to do with item management. There are a lot more banks, so it's a lot easier to manage your key items this time, but not only do human party members keep their inventories when they leave the party, but monsters also completely LOSE their inventories upon being fused. This means you've gotta pay attention to what you want whom to have when you're thinking of doing monster fusion. While it's impossible to lose key items this way (the way the game solves that problem is that monsters simply can't hold key items at all), it's very frustratingly easy to forever lose unique equipment because you forgot to de-equip a monster with it, and it's similarly frustrating to lose a key item or unique piece of equipment because someone you didn't realize was about to leave has left for a good while.

There are also some very confusing design aspects around the human characters in particular. There are six main human party members who cycle through your party throughout the game, and overall they're not very good. Humans are always the weak link of the party, and the fact that they don't level up when they're not in the group means that you're even more likely to ignore them in favor of monster party members when they come back into the party after having been gone for story reasons. This is doubly true given how this game, like the last one, has a lot of unique special monsters you can find who are REALLY powerful and awesome to use. The game then twists in the final act, and actually robs you of ALL of your monsters by giving you all six human party members who cannot be removed from the party (so incidentally, if you have any items on reserve monster party members when you get that sixth human, their items are now inaccessible since only active party member's items can be accessed). I had to grind for hours to get my all-human party to a place where they could actually fight the final boss because they were all so wimpy, as this game is a good deal harder than the original overall. It's not a game-breaking decision, but it definitely left a sour taste in my mouth after a game that was up to that point better than the first game in basically every way.

One aspect that does not disappoint, however, is the presentation. I'd heard the music was just all around better in the second game, even after being so good in the first, and that statement was absolutely right. The graphics have also been improved a bit, still looking quite "GameBoy JRPG"-like, but with the environments and monster sprites looking just a bit nicer than before. They also do a better job of not putting monsters that share a sprite in the same area anymore, so that's one more really nice feature.


Verdict: Recommended. Last Bible 2 is another really good GameBoy JRPG. Overall I'd say it's stronger than its predecessors, but a few too many mistakes in its design philosophy regarding its human party members makes it impossible for me to recommend that highly. If you're a fan of JRPGs, you'll probably quite like this game, and it's well worth checking out if you can read Japanese and like some monster-catching action.

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128. Aggelos (Switch)

This, like Trash Quest, was a $2 game on sale on the Switch eShop that Prfsnl told us about a week or so ago. It looked like a really great little Wonder Boy-like, and I snapped it up as quick as I could. It took me a little under 5 hours to play through the English version of the game with a 94% or so item collection rate.

Aggelos is a pretty standard fantasy story. The land is under attack by dark fantasy forces, and you, the hero, must venture forth and collect the four elemental orbs to gain the power of light and seal it away again. It's very explicitly constructed as a love letter to old Wonder Boy games, but compared to another retro-inspired metroidvania like Alwa's Awakening, this game actually has quite a bit of dialogue in it, and quite charming dialogue at that. It does the job of getting the story going and telling you were to go nicely, and the combination of good character animations and well done dialogue make it a treat to go through despite it not ultimately being all that important.

Mechanically this game is certainly a Wonder Boy love letter, as it's a Metroidvania more based around moving across a flat world than one with much verticality. Now it isn't as flat and stage-based as something like Shantate often is, but it's a wide open world with a welcome teleport feature to help get around once you hit around the halfway point. You go around, fight monsters, collect money to buy new equipment, and go through dungeons to collect magical orbs and get more powers. You can learn new sword moves from secret scrolls and those combined with the magic powers you get from rings in dungeons help augment your movement and power to explore more and more. That aspect gives it almost a Zelda 2 kind of feeling just as much as it does a Wonder Boy one. The whole mechanic of regaining magic via landing melee hits on enemies is a really cool idea, and it allows them to do some very cool stuff with platforming and puzzle design. It also lets them make some pretty damn brutal (though almost always optional) platforming challenges for those daring enough to try. The game is definitely on the harder end of more modern metroidvanias I've played, but it's generous enough with healing items that it's not too too bad.

The presentation is also very nice. The music is very good, and the graphics are pretty and vibrant. It all gives a good retro feeling while still feeling very modern. It's not quite as high quality as something of a Shovel Knight, mind you, but that feeling of "this is what Wonder Boy would be if it were made today" really shines through, just like how Shovel Knight so often feels like a modern day 8-bit Capcom game.


Verdict: Highly Recommended. There is very little to complain about with Aggelos. Honestly the only complaint I can really come up with is that I wish it were longer so I could've kept playing it! XD. If you don't mind a bit of a difficult time with platforming, this is a real joy of a metroidvania to play, and it's an absolute steal at $2.

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129. Final Fantasy (NES)

I've had this game for quite some time on my NES Mini, and it's a game that I've been meaning to play through for quite some time. I played through the Dawn of Souls remake on GBA when I was younger, but I've always been curious as to just how different the original NES game feels to play. A friend of mine was talking about Final Fantasy a fair bit a few days back, and it gave me the push I needed to finally hook up the NES Mini and give this game a play. It took me about 24 hours to play through the English version of the game with relatively copious save state use (with my 2 fighter, 1 white mage, and 1 black mage party).

The original Final Fantasy's story is a pretty neat one and it's remarkably complex given that it's a game from 1987, when JRPGs were still something so so new to the world. You play the four Warriors of Light, four player-created party members who are here to save the world. The four fiends have taken the power of the four elements, and you need to defeat them and save the day. It's a simple premise, of course, and the signposting can be a little rough at times for exactly where to go, but the conspiracy behind it all is neat to watch play out, and is still entertaining all these years later. Most impressive of all for me was the localization. Sure, the game is from 1987 and the localization is from 1990, but it's still remarkable just how well put together the translation for this is.

The gameplay of FF1 is the real showstopper here, and in no small part due to how until very recently every port of this game stripped out all the unique (and admittedly rather bothersome) aspects of its design. Like many early JRPGs, FF1 takes a lot of its base ideas and aesthetic trappings from Western RPGs like Ultima, Wizardry, and most notably, Dungeons & Dragons. Sure, you have a party of four characters, the order of the party they're in dictates how likely they are to draw enemy fire (more likely in front, less likely in back), and you equip armor to get stronger and fight to get experience points to level up. You have six different jobs you can pick from, each having their own strengths and weaknesses (granted some of them have such awful weaknesses they're not worth using at all). Many aspects of FF1 aren't terribly remarkable, even for the time.

But the really unique thing about how FF1 plays compared to so many other RPGs of the time is that it eschews any kind of MP system. Instead, you have D&D-style spell charges, and your mages need to rest at an inn (or consume an expensive overworld-only item) to get those charges back. What this means is that you need to be very careful about when you dish out your spells, and really you never have a good opportunity to sling spells about with how large and maze-like the dungeons you're in are. Monsters hit so hard, your most common way of healing will likely be (like I did) always buying back up to 99 healing potions whenever you go back to town, since healing with white magic is such a quickly tapped-out resource. Running from battles, particularly in the later dungeons, is also a very good strategy to conserve resources for similar reasons.

Overall I'd certainly put FF1 on the easier side of NES RPGs, but it can be absolutely devious with how the rare wandering packs of instant death-toting mages can be in later dungeons. There are of course no continues, and you need to save at an inn if you want a continue point from where you die, so dying is a really mean punishment. This is especially true with how gratuitously long any battle takes to play out. This game makes Persona 1 or Final Fantasy 7 look like they have fast battle systems with how long they can take. Every attack to every target takes so long to play out that an area of effect spell against the enemy maximum of nine targets can take over a minute between all the animations and loading times for the game's number crunching. That sheer time investment more than anything else is probably the biggest thing that makes FF1 quite so difficult to go back to these days, at least in its original form.

The presentation is really pretty, and it still holds up well even now. You have the distinctive profile-view of the party vs. the monsters, with the party's sprites being more simple and the monsters' being more detailed, and the animations that the party do when they attack must've been pretty dang slick looking back in '87. The music is also quite good, although there was a pretty surprisingly small amount of it. There's only one battle theme, for example, with even the final boss not getting his own battle theme.


Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. FF1 was a very important game historically, and for an 8-bit game it holds up pretty darn well, but that's sorta damning with faint praise with just how brutal so many 8-bit JRPGs are. I'd say that, at a glance, FF1 is certainly one of the 8-bit JRPGs that has aged the best, but with just how BORING it can be to sit even one random encounter, this is a game that will likely only appeal to those very interested in their video game history, or only more devout JRPG fans.

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130. The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories (Switch)

I wanted to get a clean 130 games beaten this year, and I figured this one would fit the bill very nicely. I bought this game years ago on sale, but just never got around to playing it. I'd heard it was great, but a pretty heavy game narratively, and I was just never quite in the mood for that kind of thing when I had my Switch hooked up. It took me about 5 hours to play through the English version of the game, and then I spent another 1.5 hours going through and getting all of the collectibles I missed.

The Missing is the story of J.J. and her best friend Emily. They take a trip to the Island of Memories on a vacation, but then their first night there, J.J. suddenly blacks out and wakes up to find Emily gone. She takes her stuffed animal F.K. with her as she runs to search for her missing friend, running from a weird monster here and there, only to be struck by lightning in a field and die. However, after a tortured revival process, she's able to regrow her skin and get back up and keep going. So begins J.J.'s quest to find her save her lost friend.

It's a little bit of a spoiler to say so, but The Missing's story is a pretty raw narrative about the difficulties of being transgender. As the story slowly unfurls through text messages you get from F.K. in the present as well as ones from the past from J.J.'s friends and family, you slowly learn more and more about the people her and Emily are. They lay the metaphor on pretty thick, but they also aren't afraid to elevate it up from sub-text to just plain text when they need to. It's a heavy story, but it knows to keep a good balance of tone with the friendly and funny dialogue of the text messages alternating with the more serious ones appropriately. It definitely isn't a story for the squeamish, given all the body horror in it, but for anyone looking to perhaps understand their trans friends and family a little better, The Missing is a pretty good step in that direction, and it's one of my favorite stories I've played this year. (It's also made by Swery, of Deadly Premonition, and it makes a lot more sense after playing this why so many of my friends were SO upset with how virulently transphobic Deadly Premonition 2 was given that The Missing predates it by over a year).

The gameplay of The Missing is a puzzle platformer where you as J.J. run, jump, and dismember yourself to get over and through obstacles in your way and solve environmental puzzles. Now this isn't a clean or funny game about it, really. You can't' just pull off body parts like it's a silly zombie game. If you need to throw an object, like an arm, at a box to make it fall down, you need to get J.J. mutilated by taking damage to do it. Getting dismembered to just a head, getting your neck broken to flip gravity 180 degrees, being set on fire, and then healing back to normal at the push of a button are all puzzle elements you'll need to get the hang of to get through The Missing. It's a really well put together puzzle platformer, although while I do appreciate what they do narratively, I do kinda wish that the dismembering or instant healing animations were a little faster so the gameplay loop could be a little quicker.

The presentation is really beautiful. The game isn't 2D, it's 2.5D, but everything in the graphics still has this pencil-drawn and painted style to it that I loved. The soundtrack is also excellent, underscoring the action excellently. It especially knows how to use a vocal track well, and that in particular is what had me crying near the start and crying a lot more near the end ^^;


Verdict: Highly Recommended. I figured I'd be ending 2021 (the video game part of it anyhow) with a bang with The Missing, and damn if I wasn't right. This is easily one of my favorite games I've played all year. It captures the experience of me and so many of my friends and loved ones so well, it's also easily just one of my new favorite games of this/last generation. If you don't mind a game with a heavy story, this is absolutely a game you should not miss out on.
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

Post by dsheinem »

I didn't beat a lot of video games in 2021.

Instead I section-hiked the PA Appalachian Trail in both directions (~460 miles total). I also made a 35-minute experimental documentary short film and had it screened at a few festivals and conferences! My wife and I also bought and renovated/are renovating a house!

...so I feel like I have a lot of good excuses for not adding much to my tally last year :lol: I will do better this year!

Here's the final toll:

1. Sonic Forces - PS4
2. Marvel's Spider Man: Miles Morales - PS5
3. Wreckfest - PS5
4. Ketsui Deathtiny - PS4
5. Ghost of Tsushima - PS4
6. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes - Switch
7. The Ascent - PC
8. Halo Infinite - PC
9. Dangun Feveron (Fever Mode) - PS4

Total: 9

Previously:
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

Total since keeping track: 856

I still hope to get to 1000 logged beaten games in the next few years...perhaps 1000 games in 15 years should be my new long term goal. That means I just have to average about 35 games a year between now and the end of 2025, which seems very doable!

Hope everyone had fun beating games this year - some impressive lists and totals in this thread! I hope to participate here much more this year!
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

Post by Markies »

Here are my Top 10 Games That I Played In 2021!

10. The Bard's Tale (XBOX)
9. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (NS)
8. Star Ocean (SNES)
7. Gunbird 2 (SDC)
6. Final Fantasy III (NES)
5. Threads Of Fate (PS1)
4. GrimGrimoire (PS2)
3. Stella Deus: The Gate Of Eternity (PS2)
2. Phantasy Star IV (GEN)
1. Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra (PS2)

This list is dominated by RPG's and Strategy RPG's. I had a Top 15, so it was rather difficult to make it into a Top 10.

It was almost impossible to choose between my Top 2. 4-8 were also really hard to choose in what order.

Here's to 2022!
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

It's time for my (quite overdue, given it's the 8th ^^;) year-end wrap-up! Heck, I beat a ton of games this year. 130 of 'em! But now it's time to reflect on the most notable entries on both ends of the quality spectrum.

The Worst:

#3: Rockman World 3 (GB)

- I played a LOT of Mega Man this year, mostly in April, and while there were some really awesome games in there and some ones I really didn't enjoy, the 3rd GameBoy Mega Man game really takes the cake. Overly damaging bosses that move way too fast, stages full of fast platforms and big animations that cause tons of slowdown, and a massive pile of pixel-perfect jumps made this a horrible chore to play through. Mega Man as a series generally keeps such a good baseline of quality that I'd have trouble calling virtually any of them outright "bad", but this game is one I feel no hesitation calling out as heckin' awful.

#2: Maken Shao (PS2)

- Last year I played through Maken X: a horrible time of a Dreamcast game that used a console with only 1 joystick to have a first-person sword fighting game. In short, it didn't work, but a lot of the problems it had *felt* like they could've been solved had the game been in third-person. Fast forward to this year and I finally got around to playing the PAL and Japan-exclusive remake of Maken X on the PS2, the one that makes it third-person, and was blown away at just how much being in first-person benefited the first game. Maken Shao is nothing but an embarrassing mistake in not acknowledging what not only makes your own game work, but in what even makes action games fun. If the Maken games are any indication, it's a good thing Atlus generally stayed far, far away from developing action titles after these.

#1: Shining Wisdom (Saturn)

- When I played through Maken Shao way back in summer, I thought there was NO way anything else could be that bad. Little did I know what was waiting for me come December's TR. Now Shining Force 1 and 2 simply weren't for me, but I can understand their popularity to a certain degree, especially back in the 90's when they came out. Shining Wisdom, on the other hand, is a game so baffling in its construction that I can only summarize it as "an astoundingly bad time". A game that seems to go out of its way to do just about everything (sans the music) wrong, it is undoubtedly not only the worst game I've played this year, but it's also easily one of the worst games I've ever beaten, full stop.

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The Best:

#5: Tales of Xillia (PS3)

- It's been a while since I've played through a Tales game, and it was about time I did. I'd heard Xillia was quite good, and those people were absolutely right! Xillia isn't quite my favorite game in the series, but it's damn close. Very interesting and well-fleshed out themes combined with a tightly written & charming main cast made this an absolute blast to play, and the fun combat helped a bunch too~. It's a shame the sequel is such a mess, but the first game is definitely one of the best games in the series that I've played~.

#4: moon RPG (Switch)

- moon RPG is a bit deceptively named, given that it's pretty clearly an adventure game and not an RPG at all, but regardless it's still a very wild adventure through an RPG-like world. A very clever deconstruction of RPG tropes, moon doesn't so much criticize video games as they are, so much as postulate what they *could* be, and it does it through a delightfully strange and weird world packed with charming characters and locales. I really do hope Onion Games decides to localize and port more of their old games, as even though most (or all) of them aren't as good as moon, there's a lot of greatness to be found in this old gem that finally got localized (and a truly stellar localization it is!).

#3: Hermina & Culus (PS2)

- In my sudden urge to play just about as many Atelier games this year as I could get my little hands on, I happened upon the existence of this weird little VN spin-off to the main series' third entry. I was able to track down a copy, and I was told it was pretty short, so I grabbed it and played through it all in one sitting. Afterwards, I was glad that I didn't play it in a voice call and glad I played through it in one sitting, because I'm not sure any game has made me cry in one burst as much as this one did (and one I still tear up thinking about). A captivating story about unconventional families/relationships, growing up, and loss, this is a game I love so much that at several points I've considered trying to fan-translate it myself, because more people need to experience this. I'm not sure I'll ever actually get around to that, but damn if I'm not tempted every time I think about it :lol:

#2: The Missing (Switch)

- I've been hearing for years that The Missing is a great game about the trans experience, and I really can't say that those statements were wrong after having played it myself. It does a brilliant job of using both more subtle metaphor alongside more direct explanations to get its messages across to the audience, and I couldn't stop thinking of so many of my real life trans friends (not to mention myself) while I was playing it. A story so raw and true to life that I kinda didn't wanna keep going but also never wanted it to end, this was an awesome game to cap the year off with.

#1: Atelier Totori (PS3)

- A game I'd already watched a friend play before I played it, I was kinda shocked at myself for just how hard it was still able to hit me. The mechanics of Atelier Totori are a really fun and well-polished refining of what had made Atelier Rorona work so well (a revival of the series' older mechanics). It's a really fun game to play and try to find all the secrets and best battle strategies in. It's also one of my favorite stories I've seen in a video game. A really touching story about family, grief, and growing up that had me in tears over and over with just how bad it hit me. This game, more than any other this year, has definitely been ushered into my list of all-time favorite RPGs I've played.

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Honorable Mentions/Special (In no particular order):

#A: Blue Stinger (DC)

- Our own little mini-TR outside of the other TR's! It was a lot of fun going through this together, especially when I got to hear y'all's opinions on it. It was very interesting to see how different from the other regions the Japanese version is, and it even ended up being one of my most enjoyed games I've played on my Dreamcast :lol:

#B: Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)

- This was a surprisingly good, even shockingly good, licensed game on the N64. Now it's hardly the best thing ever, but I was really blown away at just how competent and well-polished the whole N64 Doraemon trilogy is. The reason it's on this list, however, is because it's something that helped me meet on of my new best friends last year. She grew up watching Doraemon on TV, and me streaming this game to our Discord chat (as well as its two sequels) gave us a lot to talk about when we were first meeting, so it will always hold an extra special place in my heart ^w^ <3

#C: Fruits of Grisaia (PC)

- Now this is a game I technically saw the end of (well, one of them anyhow) but never actually wrote a review of. It's a visual novel I played through a bit of every weekend with my significant other for months, with her voicing the female characters and myself voicing the male main character. We only actually finished one route of five, so I didn't really feel comfortable writing a full-blown review on it (and there's also such a wild mix of genuinely good and well-done writing mixed in along with some really skeevy/porny stuff that I would've had a monster of a time writing about it anyhow XP). Regardless, it was something that brought us a lot closer together and something we bonded over a lot. We both have very mixed feelings about the quality of it, but it will always hold a very special place in our hearts. As an example of that, she even sent me a really sweet screenshot from one of the epilogues we saw as an extra message after we got engaged in December <3
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

Post by pook99 »

Its been awhile since I posted, being a new father leaves me much less time to game and I almost never am on my laptop to be able to post anywhere, but I got COVID for the second time, in fact I got it almost 1 year ago to the date, despite being fully vaccinated, so I quarantined myself to my guest room with my switch, 3ds, laptop, and enough food to last for the next couple of days. So here is a summary of my 2021 gaming:

Total Games beaten: 62

1 immortals fenyx rising(switch)
2 Kunai (switch)
3 Monkey Barrels (switch)
4 Langrisser 1 remake (switch)
5 NSR: no straight roads (switch)
6 Monster boy: cursed kingdom (s)
7 Chroma squad (switch)
8 River city girls (switch)
9 Trollhunters def of arcadia(switch)
10 Children of zodiarcs (switch)
11 Jay silent bob mall brawl (switch)
12 The takeover (switch)
13 Tanuki justice ( switch)
14 Transformers battlegrounds (switch
15 Bloodstained: rotn classic (switch)
16 Wild guns reloaded (switch)
17 Hole new world(switch)
18 blazing chrome (switch)
19 9 monkeys of shaolin(switch)
20 patobox (switch)
21 Hades (switch)
22 crash bandicoot 4(switch)
23 ITTA ( switch)
24 brothers tale 2 sons (switch)
25 savage Halloween (switch)
26 double dragon (nes)
27 Kamen rider memory heroez
28 pumpkin Jack (switch)
29 contra ( nes)
30 streets of rage 2 (genesis)
31 super street fighter 2 (switch)
32 super ghouls n ghosts (snes)
33 kaze wild masks ( switch)
34 Chasm (switch)
35 Shing! (Switch)
36 blue fire (switch)
37 golden force (switch)
38 fate extella link (switch)
39 shantae seven sirens (switch)
40 Balan Wonderworld (switch)
41 cotton reboot (switch)
42 Blasphemous (switch)
43 double dragon 2 (nes)
44 ys 9 monstrum nox (switch)
45 Thor (ds)
46 project x zone (3ds)
47 batman brave and bold (ds)
48 star wars ep 3 (ds)
49 metal slug 7 (ds)
50 monster tale (ds)
51 final fantasy tactics a2 (ds)
52 legend of kage 2 (ds)
53 huntdown (switch)
54 castlevania (nes)
55 punch out (wii)
56 king of fighters 96 (wii)
57 mega man 2 (nes)
58 tmnt 4 (snes)
59 art of fighting bor 3 (openbor)
60 empire of angels 4 (switch)
61 Blaster Master Zero 3 (switch)
62 Final Fight lns ultimate (openbor)

top 10 favorites: This was tough for me to pick, since I had much less time to game this year I really only played games I was getting a lot of enjoyment from, but if I had to narrow it down to 10, in no particular order

1. Langrisser 1 remake: an amazing remake of my favorite srpg of all time

2. River City Girls: This game really blew my away, it was just an amazing sequel to one of my favorite nes games with a great combat system and a story that is genuinely funny and quirky. I went in with high hopes and it exceeded all of them

3. Blaster Master Zero 3: Blaster Master is one of the greatest nes games ever and for decades we were met long periods of nothing followed by a shitty game and repeat. I was so happy that Blaster Master Zero finally brought this series back to life and then they made a trilogy out of it. BMZ 3 is a great end to the series and I really hope they continue to make games in this series

4. Kaze and the wild masks: complete hidden gem, one of the best platformers I have played in a long time and a great homage to DKC, absolute must own.

5. (tie) Children of Zodiarc and Chroma Squad: I know this is cheating but I played a lot of SRPG's this year and these 2 really blew me away as unique and interesting games. Both of them have very unique combat systems loaded with different quirks and both offer really engaging stories although for totally different reasons. Chroma squad is silly and spoofy while zodiarcs is dark and serious. Both games were fantastic and I couldnt decide what I liked more

6. PatoBox: I love punch out, wii punch out may be my favorite game of all time and the other 2 games in the series are close behind it. Despite the awesomeness of this series there are very few clones and the ones that do exist range from completely awful (power punch 2, toughman contest) to mediocre at best (wade hixtons power punch), but patobox is a clone that really nails the fights with tons of unique bosses that really break the mold of what a punch out game could be, throw in a bizzare adventure mode and this was easily one of my favorite games of the year, my only complaint is I wish there were more fighters

7. Final Fight LNS Ultimate: Imagine a beat em up that lets you play as the entire case of:
Final Fight 1-3
Cadillacs and dinosaurs
Battle Circuit
Captain Commando
Punisher arcade game
Street Fighter 2
Most of the cast of Street fighter 3, 4 and alpha
Predator arcade game
and has loads of other cameos that include Terry Bogard, knights of the round characters, Jill Valentine, Strider Hiryu, and so many more

then take all those characters and throw them in a game that follows the plot of final fight, only if M Bison ran Mad Gear instead of Belgar, and mix in an insane combo system and hordes of enemies from every final fight game and this is what you get. The game is absolutely insane and a complete blast to play, if you havent heard of it go youtube some videos of it and then download it and check it out for yourself.

8. Blue Fire: Mix Mario, Zelda, and precision 2d platformers into a 3d space and this is what you get, game blew me away with its awesome platforming and insane difficulty

9. Project X zone: Similar to Final Fight LNS, PXZ takes tons of characters from Capcom, Namco, and Sega franchises and puts them into a SRPG that seems like it is a fan game but is actually an officially liscenced product. It is not the deepest SRPG ever but it has a fun combat system and lots of fan service.

10. Monkey Barrels: Monkey Barrels is the definition of an average twin stick shooter, but it was the game I was playing when my daughter was born and the first game I beat with her in my life, for that reason it will always have a special place in my heart and be remembered very fondly by me, even if it as generic a shooter as they make
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

pook99 wrote:10. Monkey Barrels: Monkey Barrels is the definition of an average twin stick shooter, but it was the game I was playing when my daughter was born and the first game I beat with her in my life, for that reason it will always have a special place in my heart and be remembered very fondly by me, even if it as generic a shooter as they make


This makes me so happy!

Good to hear from you, pook, and I’m glad to read that things are going well for you.
pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

Post by pook99 »

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
pook99 wrote:10. Monkey Barrels: Monkey Barrels is the definition of an average twin stick shooter, but it was the game I was playing when my daughter was born and the first game I beat with her in my life, for that reason it will always have a special place in my heart and be remembered very fondly by me, even if it as generic a shooter as they make


This makes me so happy!

Good to hear from you, pook, and I’m glad to read that things are going well for you.


Thanks, being a father has been great, very busy, but definitely the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
Limewater
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

Post by Limewater »

PartridgeSenpai wrote:129. Final Fantasy (NES)

I've had this game for quite some time on my NES Mini, and it's a game that I've been meaning to play through for quite some time. I played through the Dawn of Souls remake on GBA when I was younger, but I've always been curious as to just how different the original NES game feels to play. A friend of mine was talking about Final Fantasy a fair bit a few days back, and it gave me the push I needed to finally hook up the NES Mini and give this game a play. It took me about 24 hours to play through the English version of the game with relatively copious save state use (with my 2 fighter, 1 white mage, and 1 black mage party).

The original Final Fantasy's story is a pretty neat one and it's remarkably complex given that it's a game from 1987, when JRPGs were still something so so new to the world. You play the four Warriors of Light, four player-created party members who are here to save the world. The four fiends have taken the power of the four elements, and you need to defeat them and save the day. It's a simple premise, of course, and the signposting can be a little rough at times for exactly where to go, but the conspiracy behind it all is neat to watch play out, and is still entertaining all these years later. Most impressive of all for me was the localization. Sure, the game is from 1987 and the localization is from 1990, but it's still remarkable just how well put together the translation for this is.

The gameplay of FF1 is the real showstopper here, and in no small part due to how until very recently every port of this game stripped out all the unique (and admittedly rather bothersome) aspects of its design. Like many early JRPGs, FF1 takes a lot of its base ideas and aesthetic trappings from Western RPGs like Ultima, Wizardry, and most notably, Dungeons & Dragons. Sure, you have a party of four characters, the order of the party they're in dictates how likely they are to draw enemy fire (more likely in front, less likely in back), and you equip armor to get stronger and fight to get experience points to level up. You have six different jobs you can pick from, each having their own strengths and weaknesses (granted some of them have such awful weaknesses they're not worth using at all). Many aspects of FF1 aren't terribly remarkable, even for the time.

But the really unique thing about how FF1 plays compared to so many other RPGs of the time is that it eschews any kind of MP system. Instead, you have D&D-style spell charges, and your mages need to rest at an inn (or consume an expensive overworld-only item) to get those charges back. What this means is that you need to be very careful about when you dish out your spells, and really you never have a good opportunity to sling spells about with how large and maze-like the dungeons you're in are. Monsters hit so hard, your most common way of healing will likely be (like I did) always buying back up to 99 healing potions whenever you go back to town, since healing with white magic is such a quickly tapped-out resource. Running from battles, particularly in the later dungeons, is also a very good strategy to conserve resources for similar reasons.

Overall I'd certainly put FF1 on the easier side of NES RPGs, but it can be absolutely devious with how the rare wandering packs of instant death-toting mages can be in later dungeons. There are of course no continues, and you need to save at an inn if you want a continue point from where you die, so dying is a really mean punishment. This is especially true with how gratuitously long any battle takes to play out. This game makes Persona 1 or Final Fantasy 7 look like they have fast battle systems with how long they can take. Every attack to every target takes so long to play out that an area of effect spell against the enemy maximum of nine targets can take over a minute between all the animations and loading times for the game's number crunching. That sheer time investment more than anything else is probably the biggest thing that makes FF1 quite so difficult to go back to these days, at least in its original form.

The presentation is really pretty, and it still holds up well even now. You have the distinctive profile-view of the party vs. the monsters, with the party's sprites being more simple and the monsters' being more detailed, and the animations that the party do when they attack must've been pretty dang slick looking back in '87. The music is also quite good, although there was a pretty surprisingly small amount of it. There's only one battle theme, for example, with even the final boss not getting his own battle theme.


Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. FF1 was a very important game historically, and for an 8-bit game it holds up pretty darn well, but that's sorta damning with faint praise with just how brutal so many 8-bit JRPGs are. I'd say that, at a glance, FF1 is certainly one of the 8-bit JRPGs that has aged the best, but with just how BORING it can be to sit even one random encounter, this is a game that will likely only appeal to those very interested in their video game history, or only more devout JRPG fans.


It's not much use to you now, but on the title screen there is something called "Respond Rate," I believe. Setting this to the maximum value of 8 would probably have alleviated all of your complaints about the battles being long, slow, and boring. It makes the in-battle messages pop up and disappear more quickly, shortens delays between animations, and I think it might even speed up the attack and damage animations, though I'm not 100% sure on the last part.
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