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Your 2017 Gaming Diary

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Christmas has been and gone and our recent entry into the new year can only mean one thing..

 

It's time to begin YOUR 2017 GAMING DIARY :bouncy:

 

I hope you all enjoyed the festive period and perhaps even received an influx of new games (I know I did :heh:) so I look forward to seeing what you all play this year!

 

I cleared 51 games in 2016, the list of which can be found below :smile:

 

Spyro the Dragon (PS1)

Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)

Mario vs Donkey Kong (GBA [3DS Ambassador])

Kirby's Adventure (NES [Wii U VC])

Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny (PS2)

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3)

Space Channel 5 (DC)

Wave Race: Blue Storm (GC) REPLAY

Power Stone (DC)

Mario Kart 8(Wii U)

ESPN International Track & Field (DC)

Skies of Arcadia (DC)

18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker(DC)

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash (Wii U)

Life is Strange (PS3)

Rayman 2 (DC)

Starfox Zero (Wii U)

Beyond Good & Evil (GC)

Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (GC)

Batallion Wars (GC)

Mario Kart 64 (N64 [Wii VC]) REPLAY

NBA Jam (Wii)

BOXBOY (3DS)

Mickey Mania (SNES)

Duke Nukem 64 (N64)

Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing (SNES)

Super R-Type (SNES)

Mario Slam Basketball (3DS)

Kuru Kuru Kururin (GBA)

Illusion of Time (SNES)

Gekido (PS1)

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (GC)

Nintendo Land (Wii U)

Dino Crisis 2 (PS1)

Outrun 3D (3DS)

Super Hang On 3D (3DS)

Space Harrier 3D (3DS)

Streets of Rage 2 3D (3DS)

Gunstar Heroes 3D (3DS)

Doom (PS1)

Mario Party: Star Rush (3DS)

Konami Krazy Racers (GBA)

Super Mario Sunshine (GC) REPLAY

Never Alone (Wii U)

HarmoKnight (3DS)

Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts (SNES [3DS VC])

Soul Bubbles (DS)

Hybrid Heaven (N64)

Monument Valley (Android)

Blast Corps (N64)

Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water (Wii U)

 

 

I certainly felt like it was an interesting mix of titles and I'm surprised I managed to squeeze so many into the year given that I became a dad in April! I'm pleased that the vast majority of games I beat were ones that I hadn't finished before so it was nice to make a significant dent in the backlog, even if it's still larger than it needs to be :red:

 

With the purchase of a PS4, I suspect my 2017 entries may consist of more recent releases in comparison to last year where the number of 2016 games finished was minimal but I suspect my first couple of entries will be Pikmin 3 and Rhythm Paradise Megamix, both of which seem to be nearing a climax : peace:

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Finally. :laughing: I've finished the Titanfall 2 campaign. As I've said a couple of times already: It's incredible. A true FPS masterpiece. : peace:

Hoping to nab the Platinum soon.

 

Currently Playing

____________________________________

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Multiplayer (PS4)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered - Multiplayer (PS4)

Stardew Valley (PS4) long-term playthrough

 

Titanfall 2 (PS4)

Color Guardians (PS4)

 

Completed

____________________________________

 

January

________________________________________________

Titanfall 2 (PS4)

 

Put on hold

____________________________________

 

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I was considering playing through the original Grand Theft Auto on PS1 this year after my friend mentioning it the other night reminded me that I had been given it by him previously.

 

Having attempted to play it just now, though, I don't think I'm going to waste my time on it. It's pretty awful :nono: With so many better games to play, what's the point.. ::shrug:

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (inc Hearts of Stone)

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

The Walking Dead: Season 2

Super Mario 64

Sonic Advance

Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Crash Bandicoot

Blood and Wine

Gone Home

Ratchet & Clank

Sonic the Hedgehog (twice)

Aladdin

Furi

Life is Strange

Walking Dead: Michonne

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zero’s

Grow Home

ABZU

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Super Mario Bros

Tomb Raider

Kirby Planet Robobot

WatchDogs2

Batman: A Telltale Story

 

 

25 games completed, 1 completed twice. Bit slow compared to last year, but there we go. After raiding the PS Store sale, i did get Return to Arkham, Dear Esther, Hitman and the Batman A Telltale Story (which is complete, easy platinum).

 

This year, no games completed so far. But i am working on Pokemon Sun still, started my play of Hitman (forgot how much i love the series)

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I open 2017 with the completion of Bastion. I'm sure I played the demo back on the 360 years and years ago and enjoyed it but never ended up picking it up. Not sure why, especially if I enjoyed it, but seeing it on sale on the PS Store meant that it was finally time to jump in and see what the whole game was about.

 

I'm very much familiar with Supergiant Games, having completed Transistor the other year and absolutely loving it, so the basic concepts were familiar to me here and it's easy to see where they've built and developed some of the ideas in that latter game from the foundations here.

 

Maybe it's because I played that game before this that I found myself not enjoying it as much as that title. Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoyed playing this and had a lot of fun experimenting with different weapon loadouts and such but I think I just preferred the more tactical/strategy orientation of their second title to the gameplay here. I felt that, more often than not, I was either bashing away at the buttons to attack and, in the latter levels, it became a bit of a slog. Sure, the use of the shield to counter attacks alleviated that somewhat but not always and it just didn't hold up as well in that respect.

 

That's not to say the gameplay isn't great, it's well done for the most part and the diversity in weapons you unlock and different buffs you can give them and yourself lend themselves to a certain degree of preparedness for certain stages but I did find you could pretty much strong arm your way through most of them with the basic weapon set. I feel some of the latter items might have been better suited to unlocking earlier on; things like the mortar and the bellows would've been better later to give them a stronger outing than a level (in the case of the latter, a single one) or two here or there. Even the ability to hop, thrown at your right at the end, would've been a bit better earlier.

 

It's a bit of a shame that aspect doesn't feel quite as thought out but it's still enjoyable. Using some of the weapons was great, particularly the bellows and burning your way through everything, and the battering ram right at the end was brilliant.

 

The game looks great though and I do like the way the narrative is explicitly spoken over the top of the gameplay by Rucks. It's still very much one of the prettiest games doing the rounds, though there were a few instances where I thought I could walk over to platforms and fell, and I'm glad they've stuck with this particular style in other games.

 

As I say, it doesn't quite live up to some of the hype I've heard and I still prefer Transistor. I think that title took what they did here and took it to where it needed to go. That said, still glad to finally play it and really enjoyed it and I'm probably going to play through again over the next couple of weeks and try for the platinum.

 

Also picked up the Intro Pack for Hitman on the PSN sale and finished up the crux of what's there yesterday. I haven't played a Hitman title before so I wasn't sure what to expect but I must say that although the intro pack is slightly limited in what it affords you, it was still an enjoyable experience and has me wanting to play more, to the point that I'll be picking up the upgrade to the complete season before it goes off sale.

 

I enjoyed the freedom you were given for how to go about dispatching of your targets and the general openness of the levels. Sure, you're given some pointers and by listening in while disguised you can pick up clues as to where to go to plan your attacks but the general idea of letting you loose and allowing you to try different ideas was something I greatly appreciated and quickly adapted to. Though, I will say I became a fan of having my stash contain the lethal injection needle which made some of the more tricky assassinations in the Paris mansion a bit easier.

 

As it's only the intro pack, you're only given some training missions and a single story mission. At first, it was a bit overwhelming but I think the training missions give you a solid idea of the freedom of moves and modes of assault at your disposal. By the time I got to the final test, I was sauntering through the base, subduing guards and mechanics and very quickly assassinated the target with the ejector seat. The mansion is a very closed off space that I wasn't too keen on when starting but as I started to explore on my first attempt, ideas kept popping into my head such that when I restarted, it was a doddle to take down the targets and exit. It seems closed off but it's a very controlled space that gives you the opportunity to control what happens well.

 

I'm interested to see how the rest of the game fairs when I pick up the upgrade and play later down the line but for now, colour me pleasantly surprised with my first foray into Hitman and call me a prospective fan.

 

January

Bastion

Hitman - Intro Pack

 

Edited by Ganepark32

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I open 2017 with the completion of Bastion.

 

(...)

 

Even the ability to hop, thrown at your right at the end, would've been a bit better earlier.

 

Well, that's a coincidence, ain't it? :heh: And our reviews are on different threads by a matter of days.

 

I can see why they only threw the hop-scotch at you at the end, though. The game doesn't really recognize the 3rd dimension properly, meaning your hitbox remains on the ground while you're jumping. In other words, if you try to jump to evade an attack, you get hit by it anyway (and the same applies to grabbing flasks). The game could get away with this in the final level, where enemies are few but powerful, but in levels with hordes of enemies, you'd notice it immediately.

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Titanfall 2 Platinum get! Everybody should play this :D During my collectible run the following happened...It made me laugh out loud but also left me quite impressed with the enemy.

 

 

A true "surprise motherfucker" moment :laughing:

 

Now I'll focus on Color Guardians and the recently purchased Seraph which, based on my first 30 minutes with it, is bloody amazing.

 

Currently Playing

____________________________________

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Multiplayer (PS4)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered - Multiplayer (PS4)

Stardew Valley (PS4) long-term playthrough

 

Color Guardians (PS4)

Seraph (PS4)

 

Completed

____________________________________

 

January

________________________________________________

Titanfall 2 (PS4) IDbttgi.gif

 

Put on hold

____________________________________

 

Edited by drahkon

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@drahkon I loved Titanfall 2 and managed to obtain the platinum myself. Its such a shame that the game has not received much attention.

 

I've just completed and platinumed Shadow of Mordor (PS4). I bought the game just before xmas for £14 new. It is 100% worth the price. I found it fun and enjoyable. There are lots to do and I really enjoyed the combat system. The nemisis system works and its fun seeing the captains progress, seek revenge, randomly turn up. There are some negatives - it does get a bit samey and by the time I achieved the platinum I had enough. Not a patch on Witcher 3. On a few occasions the game glitched causing me to reset it which I found annoying.

 

Overall, a quality title. First game completed in 2017. I still have the DLC to do but will probably tackle that later on this year.

 

As @Fierce_LiNk has said before, Witcher 3 has ruined gaming for me.

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Have made my way through the first three worlds of Color Guardians (PS4).

 

Thank God, there is no trophy requirement for getting 3 stars in every level, especially the extra ones. They are too reliant on memorization and virtually impossible to complete on your first try. I hate games that do this. It's not a kind of "difficulty" it's just bad game design...

 

Really hope that the remaining "normal" levels don't include patterns that have to be memorized.

 

It's a solid game but this one issue is such a pet peeve of mine.

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Have made my way through the first three worlds of Color Guardians (PS4).

 

Thank God, there is no trophy requirement for getting 3 stars in every level, especially the extra ones. They are too reliant on memorization and virtually impossible to complete on your first try. I hate games that do this. It's not a kind of "difficulty" it's just bad game design...

 

Really hope that the remaining "normal" levels don't include patterns that have to be memorized.

 

It's a solid game but this one issue is such a pet peeve of mine.

 

If you want the platinum then you are gonna have to memorize the level you have to play during the credits. You can't pause it either as that skips the credits. You have to do a single, PERFECT (nab all the colours) run through the level, which is around 1-2 mins long.

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If you want the platinum then you are gonna have to memorize the level you have to play during the credits. You can't pause it either as that skips the credits. You have to do a single, PERFECT (nab all the colours) run through the level, which is around 1-2 mins long.

 

Well, as long as it's only one level...

 

I'm very thankful for not going to have to play through the secret levels. I was thinking about 100%-ting the game but fuck no :D

 

You have to do a single, PERFECT (nab all the colours) run through the level, which is around 1-2 mins long.

 

Did in on my first try...

 

Well, Platinum get for Color Guardians. A mediocre game at best. Nothing more to say.

 

Currently Playing

____________________________________

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Multiplayer (PS4)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered - Multiplayer (PS4)

Stardew Valley (PS4) long-term playthrough

 

Seraph (PS4)

 

Completed

____________________________________

 

January

________________________________________________

Titanfall 2 (PS4) IDbttgi.gif

Color Guardians (PS4) IDbttgi.gif

 

Put on hold

____________________________________

 

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I'm also going to take part this year and have got the year off to a good start finishing two games already! Granted I'd started them both before 2017, but I saw the credits for at least one of them for the first time this evening.

 

Firstly, we have Papers Please on PC, which I have finished a couple of times, but only because I'd been arrested. On January the 2nd I managed to...

get a fake passport from Jorji and flee the country, leaving behind my entire family.

I'm still going to work through the game and solve some of the more complex puzzles though, as I'd like to see a few of the other endings. If anyone hasn't checked this out, I highly recommend it. It seems like a dull premise sifting through passport documents, but the story and the interaction between the characters and various levels of authority is truly engrossing and your first play through will likely tell you a lot about your own character. One of the best indie games available and an absolute steal on Steam!

 

About an hour ago, I finally finished Splatoon. Now, I've put almost 100 hours into the online mode of this game, but I'd barely even touched the single-player. A couple of hours play last night, and another or so this evening have quickly put paid to that! As I'm sure many of you know, it's fantastic, very Mario Galaxy esque. The final boss is beyond epic. I hope they do a new "quest" for the game's inevitable Switch release. I have a couple of scrolls left to find, as well as the Amiibo challenges to do, but I'll be tackling them later on. I also managed to better my score in Squid Jump, managing 32,000 odd points, though I have no idea how that compares to anyone else out there :D

 

January

Paper's Please (Steam)

Splatoon (Wii U)

 

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Played through and Platinumed Day of the Tentacle Remastered today. I don't care much for point-and-click games. This one was funny sometimes, though. Not too shabby for a PS+ game. Quick Platinum, too, so can't complain :D

 

Now there's Steins;Gate to play through on the Vita, which will take quite some time. It's supposed to be one of the best visual novels out there and I highly enjoyed what I've played so far so looking forward to spending more time with it :)

 

I'm still not very good at Seraph but it's incredibly fun. Not sure if this will be a difficult Platinum, as I haven't looked at the trophy list, yet :D

 

Currently Playing

____________________________________

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Multiplayer (PS4)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered - Multiplayer (PS4)

Stardew Valley (PS4) long-term playthrough

 

Seraph (PS4)

 

Completed

____________________________________

 

January

________________________________________________

Titanfall 2 (PS4) IDbttgi.gif

Color Guardians (PS4) IDbttgi.gif

Day of the Tentacle Remastered (PSVita) IDbttgi.gif

 

Put on hold

____________________________________

 

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There are some negatives - it does get a bit samey and by the time I achieved the platinum I had enough. Not a patch on Witcher 3. On a few occasions the game glitched causing me to reset it which I found annoying.

 

As @Fierce_LiNk has said before, Witcher 3 has ruined gaming for me.

 

Had a pretty similar response playing Assassin's Creed Syndicate.. Hoping Mass Effect Andromeda will scratch that itch soon!

 

Did you ever play Witcher 2? I dug out my 360 and a copy from CEX to go back and see what I'd missed and have put in a few hours - it's great! I expected it to have dated a lot in comparison to 3, but aside from a few niggles it holds up really well. The plot, script, dialogue trees and voice acting are all top notch - a slightly grittier and political storyline.

 

Obviously it lacks the open world aspect but it never feels too linear anyway. Helps that some of my faves from 3, Triss, Triss and Letho all have pretty big roles so far too.. Well worth going back to play!

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So, the first game I completed in 2017 is a bit of an odd one...

 

Huniepop

 

 
 
 
Broadcast Yourself
Audio

 

84xhAaH.png

Yup, it's a dating sim. A genre I don't do much. Mostly because the idea I have of the genre still harks back to those Newgrounds flash games, where the mechanics were laughably simple, the writing was cardboard-thin, and the whole thing was just an excuse to excite 13 year old boys.

Even nowadays, the idea of sitting through a visual novel with very limited choices, coupled with the pervasiveness of the awful "Harem" genre in Japanese media, have turned me off wanting to take another stab at the genre.

And then someone tells me there's a surprisingly good, Bejeweled version of it. That got me curious.

krClpyj.png

Since ice skating and Bejeweled are pretty much the same sport, right?

 

So, the game follows pretty much the same beats as your usual dating sim: you meet a bunch of girls, develop your relationship with each of them until an arbitrary bar is filled, and she'll become your girlfriend. The twist is that, rather than improving your relationship via talking, you improve the relationship by how well you do on dates... and each date is a game of Bejeweled.

Now, it's not just "join gems until you win", you have a limited number of moves to reach the desired score, and each gem has a different property. For example, green gems represent "Flirtation" and are worth more points if you're courting the party girl, but very little if you're dating the shy girl who prefers a serious relationship. Meanwhile, red gems represent "Sexuality", and work great with the kinky teacher, but very little with the awkward nerdy girl, etc.

Later on, after you went on enough dates, you get to bed the girls, leading to sex scenes... represented by a much faster game of Bejeweled where you need to match colours frantically and willy-nilly while the girl moans in the background. No more pondered moves, you just gotta keep thrusting those gems into the right openings. This Porno-Bejeweled is... oddly fitting. And very NSFW. And certainly better than the sex scenes in God of War 3.

And yeah, sure, I only played it for the articles.

58Q3klU.png

Such as this fine clothing article

 

All joking about the silly premise aside, it's a pretty addictive puzzle game that keeps on piling up the difficulty, and I appreciate it for it. The item system also ensures that different strategies are viable.

The music is pretty nice to hear, and the voice acting isn't bad, either. As for the writing, it's unapologetic and over the top, no pretension of anything serious. Likely for the best.

At first glance, I'm glad that this was made by an American, as the Japanese Harem-archetypes are nowhere to be seen, you can actually play as a lesbian, there's some racial and ethnic diversity (though it often plays stereotypes a bit on the nose), and there's more variety in general (I don't think I've ever seen a single teen mom represented in Japanese media, but this game does have one).

At second glance, these girls' personalities are surprisingly fleshed out. For example, if you pay attention to certain bits of dialogue, you'll notice that the local porn star cougar and the wholesome university student are actually estranged mother and daughter. This may explain why the daughter dislikes the Sexuality trait, but also sheds light on why she goes out of her way to help teen moms. There's the groundwork for an interesting drama, here.

As I said before, the game doesn't go deep into any of this, as it decided to fully commit to being silly. You can fail dates, but you can't worsen your relationship with the girls. You can date BFFs, but they'll never find out they're being cheated on. It chooses to wear its silliness on its sleeve, which is fine... but I kinda wanted to see the girls find happy endings to their stories, too.

izv5xZv.png

No, the other sort of happy ending

 

But the game sure is good at being silly, and despite the premise itself being kind of embarrassing ("Porn-Puzzler" is a pretty apt descriptor), it's still a pretty original, fun game that I'd recommend checking out, if nothing else.

Just play it at home. And not too loud.

And also stay away from Beli, 'cuz she's my bae.

 

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Huniepop (2015) Completed (January 8th)

 

Currently Playing:

-Dungeon Keeper

-Super Meat Boy

-Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

 

Edited by Jonnas
Needed reformatting

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Played that game a while ago. With the extra scenes of course. The gameplay was quite fun.

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Finally got a PS4 late last year so hoping to get back into gaming a somewhat this year. Not sure how much time I'll end up having to do this but will try and get through a few things. I do tend to get through a fair few iOS games so will track those too.

 

Currently my main challenge is F1 2016 on expert career mode with the target of winning the title. It's definitely a challenge and will take me a good amount of time to get through but great fun.

 

Currently Playing:

F1 2016 (PS4) Expert Career Mode

GTA5 (PS4) Story

Mario Run (iOS) Black Coin Collection

 

 

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Had a pretty similar response playing Assassin's Creed Syndicate.. Hoping Mass Effect Andromeda will scratch that itch soon!

 

Did you ever play Witcher 2? I dug out my 360 and a copy from CEX to go back and see what I'd missed and have put in a few hours - it's great! I expected it to have dated a lot in comparison to 3, but aside from a few niggles it holds up really well. The plot, script, dialogue trees and voice acting are all top notch - a slightly grittier and political storyline.

 

Obviously it lacks the open world aspect but it never feels too linear anyway. Helps that some of my faves from 3, Triss, Triss and Letho all have pretty big roles so far too.. Well worth going back to play!

 

Nope, never played a Witcher game before 3. It would be great if they remastered 1 and 2 to put on the PS4.

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I just finished my first game of 2017, Resident Evil HD on the PS4. It took me a while to get into the game, the first few hours were a bit awkward as I got used to the archaic controls and the limited item slots you get when playing with Chris. I was extra cautious on my play through after screwing myself over when I played 'Silent Hill' and didn't have enough ammo to beat the final boss, so when it came down to the nitty gritty in RE I had plenty of health, ammo and ink ribbons left so I probably felt more comfortable at the end than I should have done on my first time through. I think making saving a consumable item is a great idea and I'd like to see them bring it back, it really added to the tension and made me more cautious on my first time entering a room.

 

The atmosphere is fantastically creepy and the memos and diaries that you find really enhance the plot. In the end I really enjoyed it and can totally understand why Huber from Easy Allies calls it 'cosy', although I wouldn't go that far in saying I felt totally comfortable in the surroundings of the Spencer Mansion but it's eerie and unique atmosphere certainly provides some strange familiarity. I'd definitely like to play through it again as Jill to get every side of the story, but I think I'll move onto something else first.

 

I'm almost done with Captain Toad so that will be the next title I write about here, but I've got so many games on my PS4 and NES Classic that I'm not really sure where to go next.

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Picked up Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons the other week from the PS Store sale and sat down the other day to play it from start to finish. I'd heard good things about this over the year but was a bit hesitant to play it. There's been a few instances of sitting down to play games that have got some hype behind them a few years post release and them not really living up to it in my mind. But thankfully, this isn't one of those cases and was a beautiful experience from start to finish.

 

It's a very emotional experience with a strong yet simple narrative that seems to harken back to old fables and tales of that ilk. The opening flashback to set up one of the two brothers you play as and outline who he is as a character is hard hitting and I felt some empathy for him during what you see. That the game doesn't pull any punches with how it approaches some of the topics within the narrative is admirable; it would be very easy to have dulled the edges a bit or to have given a more positive story but I'm glad they didn't because it really helps to capture your attention and engross you in what's going on and the subsequent emotional turmoil that comes along with it.

 

That sentiment really encapsulates the ending especially, the way it doesn't just give you what you want and doesn't force some artificial closure on you is expertly handled. They've really nailed the main narrative but also some of the smaller ones you'll come across through the game. To go into any detail on those would be to dilute the impact of some of them though the bit with the burned down house was a rather harrowing and really hard hitting moment.

 

The gameplay, then, has a lot to stand up to and for the most part, the clever use of dual control of the brothers with the left and right thumbsticks is done well and creates some interesting spectacles that last just long enough to not overstay their welcome but don't leave you wanting more. It's not the smoothest experience in controlling the two brothers and a few times I had to stop and give my brain a second to rejig or reposition the brothers on screen to correspond with which thumbstick their movement was attached to. Similarly, the grabbing and holding mechanic doesn't quite work as smoothly as it could do on the climbing puzzles.

 

Yet these elements are easily overlooked in the grand scheme of things. They never hold the game back significantly to any degree and the more passive nature of the game, the walking through the environments and small clever puzzles allow for a more captivating experience, allowing the story to come to the forefront.

 

I'm glad I picked it up now as I really enjoyed the game and it's certainly stuck with me in my mind after finishing. I can definitely see why it's garnered the acclaim it has and recommend those that haven't tried do so as it's a superb title.

 

I also sat down over the last day or so to playthrough one of this month's PS+ titles and managed to finish and platinum Day of the Tentacle Remastered last night. I will admit to using a guide to get some of the more out of the way trophies, though they're never really out of the way and perhaps more require a more inquisitive line of thinking than the one used to progress through the story.

 

Despite a lot of talk about the humour of the game being great, having finished it I didn't really take much away from the experience and while it was ok, it wasn't anything brilliant like I'd have hoped. Perhaps that's the danger of bringing these classic titles back to the modern age: sometimes they just don't match up to their contemporaries.

 

Sure, I had a few chuckles throughout the game but it felt a bit stale by comparison to today's offerings. It also felt a bit clunky to play, the way the inventory worked and such. It's definitely a game that would've benefitted from playing on a PC or even the Vita for the touch screen but doesn't come off as well on the PS4.

 

It's not something I'll look back on too fondly and reminisce over. It was an ok game but didn't really do much for me and is definitely showing its age nowadays, much like Tim Schafer's other title that was remastered, Grim Fandango.

 

January

Bastion

Hitman - Intro Pack

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Day of the Tentacle Remastered (Platinum)

 

 

Not too sure what I'm going to play next. Dipping my toes in with another previous PS+ title, Color Guardians, but not really enjoying it. Making slow progress with Thumper but again, I'm not massively enjoying it compared to other music rhythm titles I've played. I did pick up Knack on the PS Store sale as I've never played it so may give that a whirl and still have both The Last Guardian and Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter to play through so maybe a mixture of those.

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What contemporary adventure games are better than Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango?

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What contemporary adventure games are better than Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango?

 

It's more personal preference than anything else but the likes of games by Amanita Design (Machinarium and the Samorost games, even Botanicula) I felt played better than Day of the Tentacle. Similarly, the Monkey Island games (if we're looking for stuff around the same time) as well as the Broken Sword titles are one's that I've enjoyed more. As for Grim Fandango, the Telltale games, Life is Strange, The Longest Journey and the Secret Files games are contemporaries that I've enjoyed more. Maybe it's a case of not having the nostalgia attached to them/never having played them until I've played others first but I just don't feel like these two hold up very well. Just my opinion.

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Started the game file quite a while ago but this year I finally finished Final Fantasy X (PS2). Picked up the game a while ago but for whatever reason I stopped playing it in favour of other games and about Djose Highroad I began to be really turned off by the linearity of all the environments and how they were just a straight line, not really giving any illusion of exploration or anywhere to go off to the side to do other things.

 

Picked the game back up from the point where you "Ride ze shoopuff" and played it to completion. Found myself enjoying it a bit more this time and although the linearity is still not something that I'm a big fan of, the game's combat system, storyline and traditional depth began to shine through. I started playing it mainly for the story and began to become somewhat underleveled by the end of the game, so much so that I spent a while grinding for abilities that I hadn't yet learned and it got to the point where I had learned every skill on the standard path for every character and began to cross them all into other paths. The final boss took a few tries, first time round I kept getting stoned by Jecht Shot and only when I took a break to farm for Stoneproof armour and a better Overdrive for both Tidus and Auron did I finally win.

 

Regen and Protect on every character combined with Doublecast Ultima to stop the two Pagodas from moving while simultaneously damaging him and then using Lancet on the Pagodas whenever Khimari was running out of MP (I took him down Lulu's Skill path and made him a Black Mage), combined with a strong normal attack from Tidus and Yuna casting Holy on every turn where she didn't need to heal someone worked like a charm in the end.

 

So yeah, finally completed this game. Not my favourite in the series (Final Fantasy VI is my favourite game of all time though so FFX would need to be absolutely amazing in every way in my own opinion for it to top VI) but I did think the story was one of the most interesting in the entire series. They even managed to do without a recognised antagonist for half the game until you find out exactly who it is and it kind of reminds me of Xenoblade in how the party values change during the course of the story as certain plot twists are revealed.

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I decided to start off 2017 with a bang. Four games completed in as many days! Not bad going if I do say so myself! :D

 

So let's get this show on the road, shall we? How about we start with...

 

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A game 10 years in the making and a write up 10 minutes in the making.

 

So The Impossible Game actually came into existence after all! Pigs have flown, cats and dogs are sleeping together and Shenmue 3 is happening! The Last Guardian represents the literal hopes and dreams of a literal generation.

 

But sometimes dreams are best left at that... We all know what happened with Duke Nukem Forever and Too Human after all; so naturally it shows that games stuck in Development Hell are best left down there...

 

...

 

...

 

... thankfully not in this case!

 

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The most adorable monstrosity you'll ever encounter. You'll want to protect her (him?)

 

Trico is a living, breathing animal and is about as obedient as a Nintendog. Naturally this means that half of the people playing this game will scream in frustration as Trico refuses to listen to your stupid commands, while most of the other half will hone their trainer skills and learn that you have to work WITH your pet to get them to get you to where you want to get to. The remainder will probably trade the game in once they realise that you can't pick up Trico with the tug rope and fling him through the air like they did in Nintendogs.

 

This game is otherwise basically Ico in reverse; with you playing the role of Yorda a mysterious young boy with a case of too many trips to the tattoo parlour without telling your folks. You are basically useless and can't do anything right, so you have to beg your trusty companion to carry you through the game.

 

Sounds rubbish, but is actually bloody fantastic.

 

The puzzle design is exquisite and will no doubt tickle the fancy of many a Zelda fan. Environmental navigational puzzles are the order of the day here as you are tasked with figuring out how to navigate the seemingly impassable environment; along the way you'll find spotty switches (no, not the Nintendo kind), charismatic chasms and perfunctory pits that impede your progress through the ruinous ruins. There is something to be said for the lack of a clear direction given to you, as the naturally designed environment can belie your senses and present a challenge in figuring out where the bloody hell you're meant to go. Some may find that part of the game frustrating, but it too, is part of the gameplay and makes for a unique kind of puzzle solving experience where finding the puzzle, is half the puzzle. Oh, there's a tiny bit of combat as well, but since you have all the stopping power of a limp puppet, you need to rely on guiding your adorable partner of dread armageddon and destruction to its prey (and of course you have a dedicated petting button to let him know that you love him; in fact, you actually have to do this to calm him down after he's finished disembowelling your helpless foes! Isn't he just so adorbs? :heart:).

 

 

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Aww, I wuv you soooooo muuuccchh... KILL THEM ALL!!!

 

And as you all have probably figured out by now, you have the ability to jump and climb the many edifices of the surrounding environment, as well as Trico himself (herself?). These clambering controls are basically the exact same as those in Shadow of the Colossus and SOTC's influence here is as clear as air.

 

Needless to say, the boy controls exactly like the one in Ico and climbs and grapples just like how Wander did in SOTC. If you hated the controls and movement physics in those games, then you're in for a treat here, because it's almost exactly the same here! You are a helpless little boy and not a genetically engineered, super soldier, male power fantasy personification after all and chances are that if you are remotely interested in this game, you'll understand why Ueda and his team chose to design the controls the way they have.

 

Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the camera as it is far from ideal. It hates, loathes and detests your very soul as it constantly gets stuck and works against you while you fight to find your way through the (oftentimes literal) darkness. It's especially egregious in cramped spaces as it literally doesn't have enough space to manoeuvre around you and Trico, who themselves are taking up all of the space within the already cramped room. It's a real shame and really the only real blemish upon this very real game's face.

 

It's hard to get too angry at the camera though when you consider that this is a game where this... (ignore the stupid alterations, it’s the only GIF I could find)

 

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... is 100% playable gameplay and not a cutscene, or a quasi-interactive movie experience. You are in full control here and can indeed fail as this guy did…

 

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Sike!

 

So yeah it's a masterpiece. It's every bit as good as Ico and SOTC and is an absolute must play experience. An absolute joy from start to finish. There's more to be said about the game's story and sound design, but I already went over much of that in the game's thread, so I'll spare the repeat. Besides, it doesn't really matter. The TLDR version of this post is basically, It's a Masterpiece, It's An Incredible Experience, Go Play It Right Now anyway :p

Shantae: Half Genie Hero

 

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Now these are what I call HD assets!

 

It's Shantae! In Aiche Dee!!! Her long awaited console debut! (no, late ports don't count, smartarse!) And Wayforward's first foray into Kickstarter.

 

A pretty important game all be told. A lot of firsts not only for the series, but also for Wayforward themselves. Built on the same engine as Ducktails Remastered, Half Genie Hero represents Wayforward's first original, full HD 2D title.

 

Unfortunately, the jump to HD comes at a price... too great a price (no, I do mean that quite literally). Alas, Wayforward never managed to reach all of their stretch goals for this passion project; oh, but that's alright, they were just additional bits that would add to a finished product guys! They're not parts that would form the fundamental game! It will still feel complete!

 

... I and the final game respectfully disagree...

 

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Well at least we're still getting the one additional playable character...

 

I'm gonna be blunt. This game is only half the game that Wayforward wanted to make. After playing through it, it's clear that Wayforward went into the project expecting to be able to make the game under the assumption that they'd reach all of their stretch goals; alas, they did not and as such, cuts had to be made.

 

Unlink previous Shantae games, Half Genie hero is a largely linear platformer in the vein of Super Mario Bros or DKC. However, like previous Shantae games, you are granted new abilities as you progress through the game and are able to revisit previous areas to get to places you weren't able to before.

 

It sounds good, but it's not. It quickly becomes very very annoying as you return to the first level for the fifth or sixth time to look for a stupid item you need to progress through the game and unlock the next stage. Quite frankly, the levels are not really built with backtracking in mind and it shows. There are also signs that they originally intended to keep the backtracking to a minimum and intended for more stages (most notably the fact that you find very important abilities and transformations just lying around in the most random of places; it's like the equivalent of being given Nayru's Pearl from Jabun in Wind Waker, you just KNOW that there was originally meant be a dungeon there instead of a cutscene that gives it to you...).

 

It's a real shame because what's here is good, really good in places, but it just gets bogged down by all the backtracking that they added in to pad out the length of the game when they found themselves unable to make the full sized game they wanted to. HD visuals are lovely and all, but they came at too great a price here. I do hope that Wayforward get another chance at some point to make the game they want to make, but they clearly need a bigger budget and more time to work with to get that game made.

Rhythm Paradise Megamix

 

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Wubadubadub it’s true!

 

So this is basically a Best-Of compilation that pulls in a huge selection of rhythm games from all the previous games in the series (including the Japan only GBA game) and comes along with some new additions of its own to offer up a whopping 100 rhythm games! Whoowee! That’s a big slice of Rhythm Heaven!

 

Needless to say, it’s obviously brilliant. It’s particularly great to see GBA and DS rhythm games get upgraded to the same visual and audio quality as the Wii game (speaking of which, they’re all presented in S3D and look great! Especially the baseball ones!) and the new games are pretty great, with some particular standouts that stand amongst the very best in the series…

 

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Why oh why is there no Sumo Bros 2!?

 

Unlike previous games in the series, which all had a similar structure whereby you played four rhythm games that would be followed up by a remix that put the games you just played into a blender and turned it into musical Wario Ware, this game replaces that with a new “Story Mode”…

 

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The game isn’t joking

 

Naturally the “story” is completely stupid and that’s a good thing. That being said, it’s kind of a complete waste of time. I don’t think it really added anything or really took away from the game at the end of the day. That being said, the Story Mode does two things that are worthy of note. Firstly, it tasks you to play through four rhythm games per stage (one from each previous game and finally one new one), which is cool, but sadly, each stage does not end with a remix, which is not cool (but ok, fair enough. There’s no way that they were gonna make 25+ remixes!)

 

The remixes are actually entirely absent from the game until near towards the end, which brings me to the second major thing that is worthy of note. The remixes are now presented largely all at once as part of a set of stages that you can complete in any order. While this is an interesting idea, I feel that it ultimately comes at a detriment to the game as each remix suffers from what I like to call, A-Link-Between-Worlds-Syndrome. Since you can tackle each remix in any order you like, there’s no difficulty progression; meaning that they’re all really basic and kind of easy. It’s not really until the very last remix where they finally do some really clever things and it’s a bit of a shame. There’s also a lot of medleys amongst these remixes, which is again a pity as it means that the rhythms of each game aren’t shaken up much; now I appreciate that mixing up all these games (which weren’t originally designed to be mixed together) is a huge task, but it’s still a little disappointing.

 

In transferring over games from DS and Wii to 3DS, the controls had to see some changes. While they’re generally done as best as possible (more on that later), I can’t help that a lot of games feel less than at home on Nintendo’s three dee wonder. Games like Lockstep and The Frog Hop are absolute hell to play with buttons (thank God for the touch control option!) and even many Wii rhythm games just don’t feel quite right here. Packing Pests in particular is just all kinds of WTF!? (and not the kind that you normally think playing it!). That game always made fantastic use of the natural pinching motion you’d make when pressing A+B together with the Wii Remote and felt completely natural there; here though? A+B is replaced by just pressing B and it feels so very very wrong… Why the hell is B “catch” and A “slap”!? It’s like having Mario’s jump mapped to B and run mapped to A!!

 

Oh and speaking of those touch controls… While it’s great that they gave us the option, sadly they only went halfway with them. Unlike the DS game, which recognised slides and flicks along with taps, here on 3DS? Everything is controlled by taps; even with rhythm games taken from the DS game that used flicks originally. Ok, this makes Rhythm Rally about a million times more manageable and I thank the Rhythm Lord in heaven for that, but it also makes other rhythm games like Dog Ninja completely rote and boring now.

 

But really, it’s hard to complain about a package that feels this complete; oh and I haven't even mentioned the multiplayer! Tucked away are a series of challenge gauntlets that pit you against a series of rhythm games with minimum score requirements and various gameplay mods. At last! You can finally play with your mates and see who is the rubbishest at Rhythm Paradise! Hurrah! It's so complete that it actually includes the majority of rhythm games from the entire series in one game and that’s just nuts! It also makes the Perfect Challenge an absolute Hell Gauntlet, especially since they tightened the timing window and made it even harsher than before. If you thought that Lockstep was hellspawn before, whoo boy! You aint seen nothing’ yet!

 

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Did it though :awesome:

Tembo: The Badass Elephant

 

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This is Tembo. He is an elephant. He is badass.

 

It’s made by Game Freak! It’s not on a Nintendo console and that’s hilarious.

 

This is a game where you can destroy a helicopter by making a camo touting elephant do an uppercut.

 

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See, told you

 

As you can see, it’s already off to a good start. It also helps that it’s a pretty good game too.

 

This is basically Game Freak’s take on Donkey Kong Country. Imagine a DKC game where you played as Rambi throughout the whole game and you wouldn’t be far off, as the physics and core gameplay feel very similar (hell, even the sound of picking up a peanut sounds like it was ripped verbatim from DKCR!). The game is somewhat more combat focused than any of the DKC games though (modern or SNES) and the level design is much simpler, but that’s not a bad thing here as it’s a good fun ride throughout. It’s also a smart decision, in light of its small budget, to focus on what the game does well and not build the game in a way that stretches that budget too thin.

 

The game is fairly short, but it’s just about the right length I reckon. There’s just enough variety on offer here to keep things fresh throughout and the game is very polished all throughout. It’s a good, fun and very silly ride all throughout. I’d love to see Game Freak get to make a more expansive sequel with a bigger budget in the future as it’s a pretty badass game, starring a badass elephant and really, what more could you ask for?

 

And that’s 2017 for me so far. I’ve also finally started playing Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice again and I’m on the final case in that game, so hopefully I’ll be adding it to the completion list soon.

 

Speaking of which…

 

The Last Guardian

Shantae: Half Genie Hero

Rhythm Paradise Megamix

Tembo: The Badass Elephant

 

Edited by Dcubed

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I've almost finished Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker 100%, all that remains for me to get is 5,000 coins on the Mummy-Me Maze Forever bonus level, which will probably take me a while to get but otherwise I'm done with the game. It was a really fun and surprisingly deep adventure, with a lot of bonus content and some really tough challenges towards the end, I hope Nintendo continue this series in the future.

 

I had a completely different experience playing through Virginia on PS4, a stunningly atmospheric investigative drama. As a fan of 'Twin Peaks' and 'Fargo', I really enjoyed the eerie and surreal atmosphere of the game, but it was left wanting in other areas, especially as the story gets a bit over complicated towards the end. Everything leading up to the bar scene was fantastic though but I can't help thinking it would have been so much more impactful if the song played in the bar had proper Julee Cruise-style vocals, the lack of dialogue in the rest of the game would have made it feel so surreal.

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