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Your Gaming Diary 2022

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Another relatively quick update!

Super Punch Patrol

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Dieser schwarzer Typ ist etwas Anders

I first heard of this game when @Londragon talked about it on the N-E Café. This genre is not exactly my cup of tea, but considering it's pretty cheap (got it in a sale for 99 cents), coupled with the fact that this is from the Hörberg brothers (who also made Gunman Clive), I figured I'd give it a shot.

In a world overrun by a criminal syndicate, three cops, led by Chief Anders, decide to take to the streets and beat the shit out of everybody. The whole thing is resolved in about 4 levels, less than an hour.

Yup, it's definitely Streets of Rage if it were made by the guys from Gunman Clive. From what I understand, the game has a lot of rough edges (characters are unbalanced, some punches can be punished on hit, the default strong move borders on useless, etc.), but it's incredibly easy to pick up and play, with no intros, tutorials, or any nonsense like that. Love the simplicity.

Aesthetically, it uses the "gritty drawing" style that made the first Gunman Clive shine so well, and that's great. Music is catchy enough. And something else that makes this game stand out, character designs are actually quite memorable. We got chavs, a police chief who looks like a male stripper, some fat guys in dinosaur costumes, construction workers straight out of the Village People, a few Lady Dimitrescus, swimmers in speedos... it's actually a surprisingly sexual, gay aesthetic overall. I'm not complaining, I just found it surprising, is all.

So yeah, fun little game, and another hit for the Hörbergs. Can't go wrong with the price, either.

  My 2022 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Steamworld Dig 2 (2017) Completed (January 6th)

-Bit.Trip Saga (2009-2011) No Goal (January 15th)

-Ever Oasis (2017) Beat (February 25th)

-Guilty Gear (1998) No Goal (March 19th)

-Flashback (1992) Completed (March 19th)

-Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R (2002-2012) Beat (March 30th)

-Defenders of Oasis (1992) Completed (April 20th)

-Katamari Damacy (2004) Completed (April 27th)

-Donkey Kong Land (1995) Beat (April 29th)

-Donkey Kong Land 2 (1996) Beat (May 11th)

-Donkey Kong Land III (1997) Completed (May 28th)

-Skullgirls (2012) Beat (May 29th)

-Super Punch Patrol (2020) Beat (August 10th)

 

Replays:

-Kirby's Dream Land 2 (1995) (March 20th)

-Wario Land 3 (2000) (April 15th)

-King of Fighters '98 (1998) (June 30th)

-Chiki Chiki Boys (1990) (August 8th)

 

Dropped:

-Dicey Dungeons (2019) (January 3rd)

-The Room (2012) (January 8th)

-This War of Mine (2014) (March 18th)

-Virtua Fighter 2 (Mega Drive) (1996) (April 24th)

-1943: The Battle of Midway (1987) (August 3rd)

-SonSon (1987) (August 8th)

-Strider (1989) (August 9th)

 

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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (3DS)

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‘Charming’ is the word that springs to mind having now completed this puzzle-platformer.

Bereft of the ability to jump, but with the ability to pluck & launch vegetables a la Super Mario 2, you navigate miniature levels with the aim of collecting the power star in each.

Paths will often be out of sight, so you’ll use your skill rotating the camera to help figure out routes around obstacles, as well as working out how to find & collect 3x hidden gems along the way.  Each level can also be replayed to try and find a hidden toad sprite (taking Super Mario 3D World’s sprite Luigi Easter Eggs and rewarding you now for locating them).

The bonus levels based on another Mario title were neat, although I wish there were more of them.

It looks impressive on the 3DS, although I had to squint occasionally when the screen zooms out.  The 3D effect didn’t really add much to me & while a few compromises were made, it’s essentially the same game as the Switch one (& for me a lot cheaper too!).

While playing it, it felt like a snack - a fun game to play as one inbetween larger adventures, although was so enjoyable it turns out I stayed a lot longer at the buffet table than I expected to!  

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Gravity Duck 

A little cheap game from the Xbox market place. 

I had £5 credit on my account so bought this, as I wanted something I didn't have to put too much concentration into. The other bonus, is it was recommended as an easy 1000G game and sure enough, within 20 minutes I had the full 1000. The game lasts much much longer than just that though, and I played through it til the end.

It's simple enough, jumping changes the gravity so if you jump you will flip and start to run on the ceiling. You collect a golden egg in each level and the aim is simply to collect it and the level finishes. There are around 30 levels per 'world' with some taking seconds and others needing multiple replays until you figure out how to get to the egg. Enemies are added in as you progress which makes things trickier. 

It was a really solid little game for £4 and the cool 1000g was the cherry on the cake. :)

 

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Alan Wake - Remastered 

This game was always one that I regretted never playing when it first came out. 

I remember really wanting it, and have no idea why I never picked it up or got around to playing it. Naturally then, when I heard it was remastered I was chomping at the bit to play it... and then waited like a year after til now to get it. :p 

Well, what an absolute crock of sh*t. I don't think I've ever wanted a game to end as much as I have this one. 

Tedious, boring, non-sensical, cheesy, cumbersome... just some of the words that spring to mind after I finished the main game this afternoon. 

It is definitely a product of its time. And for that, I forgive that it isn't exactly the most polished experience. However, I always wanted to play it because it looked so far up my street I knew I'd love it. Wrong. The 'story' is garbage. I had absolutely no idea what was actually happening throughout the 6 chapters, other than Alice had gone missing. 

By the end of the game, it had got so far fetched I had given up trying to make sense of any of it. 

The game play itself was shocking. It was so painfully obvious what was about to come, namely - the chapter starts in day light, it's then suddenly dark and you have to trek across some forest area whilst 'enemies' and objects taken over by 'darkness' come and attack you. You have a flashlight, which you need to shine at them to dispel the darkness, then you can shoot them to kill them. It is so cumbersome and makes trying to navigate through wave after wave of enemies an absolute ball ache. 

The only saving grace is that playing it on easy grants more than enough ammunition and batteries for the torch to allow you to get through it. But I lost count of how many times I rolled my eyes at yet another section in the chapter where I had to cross some forest area only to reach a building where the power was out and I had to 'find a generator key' or 'flip the fuse box'. And of course, as you crack on and do those things, you get waves of enemies appearing constantly just to really add to the fun. 

Speaking of chapters, there were 6 in total and they are utterly pointless. The chapters took about 1.5-2 hours each to complete. So I'd often play at night with the view to blitz a chapter before bed, but they went on for that long that I either ended up going to bed late (this isn't a problem as I am 34 :p ) or sacking it off halfway through to return to tomorrow. They'd have been better off just not having chapters IMO and just having one longer campaign. It's not as if each one was different as it was just more of the same cut and paste tedium that had gone before. 

Voice acting - terrible. The narration from the main character was delivered in such a cheesy way, like a bad American soap opera. Barry, Alan's publicist (I think that's his role anyway) sounded like Harry from Home Alone and did nothing but whinge throughout the whole game whenever he was on screen. A bit like what I'm doing now whilst giving my thoughts. :D 

Overall, I didn't enjoy this one at all. Had I picked this up 4 months ago when I was not really enjoying gaming, there's no way I'd have finished it. But I am trying my hardest to finish games I start, so I am pretty pleased I managed to get through this despite not really feeling it. 

Definitely not looking out for Alan Wake 2 whenever that one lands that's for sure! Unless they completely fix a lot of what made this a dud. 

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Marsupilami Hoobadventure 

The oddest name for a game, ever. This was another one that was on my radar as a really strong 2d side scroller that had reviewed well. And it didn't disappoint!! 

Some of these lesser known games that I have played recently have been so good! This game is reallllly simple - hardly any story to speak of, and very short overall. There are only 3 worlds in total, each one having about 8 levels in and a boss fight. Having said that, what is here is solid. 

I do think they could have done an extra world, and put some effort into making it really challenging, as the difficulty of the game didn't ramp up at all. In comparison to Kaze and the Wild Masks which I played recently, this felt like a game aimed purely at kids. Whilst it definitely is that (I think it's a TV show tie in?), there were one or 2 levels where the challenge was there but it wasn't built upon which is a shame. 

Still, the game had time trails per level which kept me going back for more and there were also collectibles in each level which weren't always mega obvious. So that allowed additional runs. 

Overall, good game. Controls nice and tight. Very enjoyable! 

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Life is Strange - True Colours 

Picked this one up via Game Pass, as I wanted more of a story driven game and this one had been reviewed well. I'd never played a game in this series before, and I read that I didn't really need to have in order to play this. 

Well, I'm only an hour in... and I don't think it's for me. I am going to knock it on the head as I am just bored playing it. The story (so far) isn't very interesting, I'm not particularly invested in the characters and there seems to be a hell of a lot of filler in between the story cut scenes. Like too many items to interact with which just slows you down actually progressing the story. And half of the items add absolutely nothing to the story or the objective at hand. 

I definitely don't think I've given this one enough of a chance, but it's supposedly a 10-12 hour game and I don't think I can cope with a game that is this slow for that length of time. At least with other games in this genre that I've played recently (As Dusk Falls, The Quarry), the story is interesting, engaging. This is just boring. 

It's getting to the point now where I feel like I've played a lot of games I had on my radar and it's starting to dry up! I need to have another proper look at Game Pass and maybe go for a game that wouldn't be one I'd normally choose to play. 

 

Edited by Aneres11
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2 hours ago, Aneres11 said:

Marsupilami Hoobadventure 

I think it's a TV show tie in?

Whoa, that's something I didn't expect to see! I didn't know they were making so much new Marsupilami content these days.

There was a really well made puzzle/platformer for the Mega Drive that I loved back in the day. You had to contort your tail into various shapes to guide a dumb elephant through the stages.

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Great to hear the new game is pretty good as well.

(Just to clarify, the character comes from a Franco-Belgian comic. The critter was clearly lovable enough for it to grow into a whole franchise)

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9 hours ago, Jonnas said:

Whoa, that's something I didn't expect to see! I didn't know they were making so much new Marsupilami content these days.

There was a really well made puzzle/platformer for the Mega Drive that I loved back in the day. You had to contort your tail into various shapes to guide a dumb elephant through the stages.

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Great to hear the new game is pretty good as well.

(Just to clarify, the character comes from a Franco-Belgian comic. The critter was clearly lovable enough for it to grow into a whole franchise)

Hah no way! That's so cool!

I really wish the game were harder as the fundamental controls are spot on. It's a great game to play and some of the bonus levels use the tail of the character in really clever ways. Hell, I'd even pay for DLC but it's been out a year (I think) now and no additional content has been seen. 

If you can pick it up second hand or cheap then I'd say go for it. 

 

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Powerwash Simulator

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You could describe this game as boring, and you wouldn’t be wrong…but it’s also just really relaxing and satisfying. You have a pressure washer and have to clean vehicles and locations - such as a skate park or playground. You can choose different nozzles (wide area or power, depending on what you’re trying to clean). It’s an extremely chill game as you can just take as much time as you want.

It’s all extremely calming, and unlike some similar games (like House Flipper), feels very more polished with nice visuals and no issues (that I encountered).
 

 

Evoland 2

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Seemed to be one of the few offline single-payment mobile games I could find (for plating while at the hospital). This is a Zelda-esque RPG involving time travel across four eras. Each era also progresses through graphics, with Game Boy style, NES Style, SNES style and 3D style representing the different times you travel to. 

There is a lot of variety in gameplay, too, with different sections of the game taking on genres like a beat-em-up or a tactical Advance Wars style game. Some of these can feel like they can go on a bit long (especially a horizontal shooter bit), but to keep the game very varied.

Playing on mobile, the controls can be annoying at times, plus it is not good at suspending (do something else on phone, it quits the game, and sometimes there can be a bit of time between checkpoints), but on PC these issues would be solved.

Really fun game overall with lots of nice ideas. 
 

Two Point Campus

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The new game in the Two Point series, after the Theme Hospital “spiritual sequel” Two Point Hospital. This sees you running universities. The humour is very much intact, with lots of really fun courses you can run, such as Gastronomy (more scientific cooking), Knighthood and Wizardry. 

Each course has much more focus than the diseases in Two Point Hospital, requiring multiple room types. You tend to focus on one or two courses at a time, trying to make them high quality enough so your students get good grades. 

As students live on campus, you also have to look after them by providing beds, bathrooms and keeping them entertained by organising parties. This is where I had the most trouble with this game, as these aspects aren’t always well described. I had major problems with students being hungry, thirsty and dirty no matter how much stuff I provided and couldn’t work out what I was doing wrong, making some of the scenarios extremely difficult. 

The rest of the management is great, just this aspect in particular that I couldn’t get to grips with.
 

As Dusk Falls

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A choice-based story game. It took a bit of time getting used to the graphics of this - there’s no “animation” as such, the characters move sort of like a slideshow. That said, it still looks good, and allows more focus to be on the choices. 

As Dusk Falls tells a story about two groups of people: one is a family travelling to a different US state due to changes in work, the other is a group of troublemakers. After a robbery goes wrong, the troublemakers end up at a motel and take everyone hostage, including the family.

The characters are all very interesting, with a lot to discover about them, and the plot has some interesting turns. Some choices don’t affect much at all, but even some of those can result in different dialogue later on. You get shown a chart of everything at the end of each chapter and some can be quite different - unfortunately, exploring these after you have finished a playthrough is a bit of a faff, but it’s still worth the initial playthrough.
 

Stray

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A cat game. Made sense to sign up for the PS Plus Plus for a week trial to try it out, and it’s a beautiful game. The world is intriguing and is something you want to find out about, as humans have gone and it is inhabited by robots (with CRT faces, I do like the “retro future” aesthetic) mimicking elements of human behaviour.

Even though a lot of the gameplay is wandering around, it’s still a ton of fun. The cat is very cat-like and there are some interactive things to scratch or mess with, plus a dedicated meow button. It’s the little touches that really make this game.

Some parts have puzzles, and even combat and stealth, so it’s not just walking. It changes things up nicely. There’s one thing at the end which I thought was a bit of an oversight (but would be spoilers to say what), but I loved my time with it.
 

Spider-man: Miles Morales

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The first Spider-man game was great, this one is pretty much more of the same. Miles does have his own style of fighting and swinging which does make it feel like you’re playing as a different Spider-man. Swinging around is still a ton of fun, as well as the side missions of helping people. It would be nice if there were random events, too, just for fun. 

I do have two complaints. One is the music. The game music is good, but the licensed music feels a bit muted. With Into The Spider-Verse doing such a good job with music plus Miles having a love for music in this, it feels like they could have done a bit more with the actual music. The other is how some abilities/suits are locked to new game+, which really killed my enthusiasm for completing absolutely everything. 
 

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In preparation for Watch Dogs 2, which I may or may not play as soon as it enters PS+ Roberto Grande Edition (Roberto Grande is still one of the best nicknames I've ever seen :D Robert Tonyan deserves it) in two weeks, I've acquired:

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I've played Watch Dogs way back in 2014. It was one of my first PS4 games. Time flies :o  :( 

Loved it back then, loved it now.
It's such a detailed and thought out world/setting that complements or rather enables all the gameplay mechanics, i.e. hacking shit and stealth. Speaking of stealth: It's incredible. Some of the best stealth gameplay I've experienced. 

The game itself is basically your typical Ubisoft open-world formula: Unlock towers --> do stuff. :D It works, it's fun, had a great time.

Driving is a bit iffy, traversal on foot can be annoying at times and the occasional glitch halted my progress until I restarted the game. Minor grievances, though, as they never really bothered me too much.

8/10 gg ez 

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Finished a bunch of games last month and at the start of this month. Here are a selection of them.

Castlevania Advance Collection

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I recently picked up Castlevania Advance Collection on PSN when it was on sale for 9 quid. Absolute bargain. Back in 2019 I played through this trilogy of games on the Wii U. It was my first time playing them and I loved everyone of them. Fast forward to 2022 and that is still the case here. My thoughts haven't really changed since I played them last but what did change is that I had to do a few new things in order unlock the platinum trophy.

Circle of the Moon - This required me to play the game, collect every card and then play the game again in Magician Mode. Collecting every card took some doing. Man, some of the drop rates are very rough. Still, it meant I was very OP throughout most of the game and was able to butcher most of the boss fights. Magician mode was interesting to play through. Your normal attacks and defence are pretty weak but your spells are super OP. This playthrough went pretty fast and a lot smoother than I thought it would.

Harmony of Dissonance - Easily the weakest of the 3 advance games but still pretty good. Here, I had to make sure I collected all of the furniture in the game, get the best ending and then complete the game a second time with Maxim. I thought this would be a bit of a slog but I watched a speed running guide and it turns out that you could finish the game with Maxim in around 20 minutes/half an hour, which is exactly what I done.

Aria of Sorrow - I had to finish the game with every soul and then beat the game again with Julius. Just like the cards, some of these souls just refused to drop, despite me having a high luck stat. It was a real grind but I eventually got them all. The Julius playthrough was pretty quick. I killed a few bosses to get powered up and then went to the final boss. I think it only took about 30 minutes to do.

Dracula X/Vampire's Kiss - Weird how this game is included in the game but I finished it as well. I needed to get the best ending by rescuing both characters. Pretty simple. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Collection

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This was such an amazing trip down memory lane. Being able to play the NES Turtle games, Turtles in Time and the Turtles Arcade is a dream come true. It also allowed me to finally play the 3rd NES Turtles game and a couple of the GameBoy games that I never got to play as a kid. Going through the collection (had to complete all of the games for the platinum) really highlighted just how much better the SNES games were when compared to the Mega Drive ones. 

Fantastic collection of games and it's great to see more retro collections being released like this. Not having to pay £200+ for Turtles in Time and being able to play it on a modern screen is easily worth the asking price of £30.

Bugsnax

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Yeah, I wasn't a huge fan of this. It was another case of an indie game being hyped up and then falling flat on its face, at least for me. The game is not without charm but it gets very repetitive very early on and the narrative and characters are garbage. I wanted to skip most of the story but the developers made it so that a lot of the cutscenes could not be skipped. Also, a lot of the puzzles to trap the bugs are very basic and once you've finished the first few areas you've pretty much seen all the game has to offer. I had the free DLC to play but the main game was so meh that I didn't even bother with it. 

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TiT is still tits isn’t it @Hero-of-Time? :D

It’s a rather lovely collection, despite some minor niggles.  Brilliant to finally have a (mostly) uncompromised home version of both TMNT arcade games!

Also Radical Rescue is legit! It’s a proper metroidvania that I never even knew existed before!

But yeah, Turtles in Time is still brill.  I’m not the biggest beat ‘em up aficionado in the world, but I’ve always got time to give to that game :)

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Ark Survival Evolved

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Played it for about 30 hours with some friends and that was kind of enjoyable. Building a base, fighting/taming dinosaurs, having a laugh. All fun thanks to some co-op goodness.
But the game itself is buggy, janky and prone to crashing. :nono: 
Had half of the trophies unlocked after co-op, the rest I unlocked with the admin commands :p 

TOEM

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Very chill and relaxing game. 
You get a camera and off you go exploring different regions. People, creatures and other weird stuff have quests for you to complete. Not very difficult puzzles but the exploration and cute artstyle make this a worthwhile experience.

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It's been a while since my last update here hasn't it?

 

Well I've played a multitude of games. I've finished Celeste and its instantly moved into my top 5 Indie Games I've played. Felt the second half in particular was especially strong.

 

With that done, I moved onto another indie game immediately... and pretty much loved the soundtrack from there. I started with CrossCode, which is a top down Zelda styled action RPG set in an MMo. I understand this is a hard sell to people, but you really shouldn't overlook this game. I started it because of it being listed as one of those underrated gems and after starting it I can immediately see why. This game feels great to play even if I'm absolutely awful at the combat and the fact that its set in an MMO means it is constantly poking fun at the genre with its dialogue, which is very well written, even for a silent protagonist with a canonical reason as to why she's silent.

 

 

But yeah, this game's awesome so far, even if I think the story is dragging its feet a bit with the whole "game within a game" thing. The writing is pretty solid overall though and it really feels like the 2D Zelda game I haven't played in ages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've just wrapped up the bunny chase in Autumn's Fall and about to start my first Raid in the game. A concept I will be completely lost on having no actually played any real MMO RPGs, only single player MMO styled ones like FFXII and Xenoblade.

 

Speaking of Xenoblade, my playthrough of CrossCode was sharp interrupted by the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. I intended to juggle both of them but in the end Xenoblade 3 was so good I decided to focus on it. I won't post too much spoilerly stuff and will stick to story tweets, but here goes:

 

Which itself is a misspelling of "Territorial Rotbart!

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/GenericAperson/status/1556992194036150273?s=20&t=mo-tfptTxS98L_67gZnVCQ

 

I did think Elden Ring was going to be my Game of the Year this year but Xenoblade 3 comes in and says "hold on a moment" and I think Xenoblade 3 might be my game of the year now. This game was so good, the story was great, the world map was so expansive, far beyond what you're required to do and the soundtrack was amazing as always. Somehow this game kept getting better when I thought it was already really good, which is the sign of a classic. It really gave me those classic RPG vibes, this is the best Xenoblade game since the original easily. Is it better than Xenoblade 1? I still don't know yet. I did have an issue with how Elden Ring fell away in its latter stages and while Xenoblade 3 does that a bit too its not anywhere near the same extent, so Xenoblade 3 is my Game of the Year.

 

 

BUT WAIT! That's not all I played this past two months. A couple of free to play games I decided to download for different reasons.

 

The first was Multiversus. Having played a fair bit of Rivals of Aether I've really gotten more into the platform fighter genre and since I have a friend who might be interested in something like this I decided to also pick it up.

 

The other free game may surprise you considering I criticised this game last year but... wanting a more up to date football game but not wanting to fork out for one I downloaded eFootball.after its 2023 update. After one year of patches surely the problems must have been fixed right? One thing I will say is that its definintely playable now and the players don't look like complete trash. But there are issues

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edit mode is apparently coming soon but to mobile first... OK.

 

So, still not amazing and some basic features are rather lacking from this game but maybe eventually this game will do a No Man's Sky and be good.

 

A couple of other games left, Rivals of Aether, obviously where work on Yooka and Laylee is really coming along, I'm redoing the character and am about 80% of the character is done, still at least 1-3 months away from finishing. The other is Soulcalibur VI where I have finally filled all 100 custom character slots. Given the amount of Indie games I've been into lately all my slots were filled with indie game characters:

 

 

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11 hours ago, Aperson said:

I've finished Celeste and its instantly moved into my top 5 Indie Games I've played. Felt the second half in particular was especially strong.

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There is no Game: Wrong Dimension (Switch)

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Despite the name, this is most definitely a game! 

This is a clever 4th wall-breaking point & click game, which sees the narrator sticking you in various situations to stop you playing their so-called “game”.

Reading that back, it sounds incredibly confusing, but in reality it really isn’t.  For example, he may plant a large sign up. Clicking on certain letters causes certain tapping sounds and then the letter may drop.  At which point you could use the sharp end as a screwdriver to unlock the screws to the sign.

It’s hard to really describe many other puzzles without spoiling them, but most do make you think outside the box as you figure out how to use the items on the screen in unfamiliar ways.

It’s all light-hearted and doesn’t take itself too seriously.  My favourite parts are where it parodied other genres, such as RPG, mobile games, and even point & click adventure games themselves.

There’s always a hint system available so you’ll rarely get stuck if you decide to use it.  The story isn’t as memorable as your class graphic adventure games, and ‘gamers’ will definitely enjoy this more than ‘casual players’.  Ultimately, I found it short but satisfying, and it did make me feel smart at times like a good point & click game should!

Edited by WackerJr
Image added
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Following my Super Punch Patrol playthrough last month, I actually decided to play another game from my backlog... and forgot to do a write-up. Oopsie.

Final Fight

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Turn the beat back!

I had this on the Capcom Beat'em Up Bundle, but never finished it. After SPP, I figured I owed it that much.

And look, it's got a lot of charm, excellent character design (including the first Trans character in videogames, afaik), and I certainly respect the fact that it basically Codyfied an entire genre, but... it's so bloody difficult! I literally couldn't go through a level without losing, like, 4 lives in the process. If it weren't for the unlimited quarters, I wouldn't make it past Stage 2. Legitimately unfair difficulty.

(As for who I used to beat this game... try to Haggard a guess)

Coupled with the fact that it's kind of hard to actually learn how to do Guy's and Cody's moves as a casual player (the enemies swarm you so fast!), it's easy to see that this game 's mechanics have aged somewhat poorly.

Graphically, it's still nice, though. Chunky sprites, colourful backgrounds, distinctive characters, and it manages to have so many Guys on screen. Arcade or not, this was wild back in 1989.

But really, outside of the respect it deserves, I didn't enjoy this one much. Which is a shame, as I love seeing how this world and characters continued to develop in the Street Fighter series.

...

It did make me curious to recently check out another classic beat'em up, though.

Streets of Rage

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Check out those bare knuckles!

Yeah, I had never played this one, can you believe it? I did have it on the Mega Drive collection on Steam, so it was easy to check.

I hopped right away with Axel and thought he was ok. I was curious to see the differences between characters, so I tried out Blaze and Adam. After confirming that the characters were basically identical save for some animations and raw stats, I decided to stick with Adam, as he clicked almost immediately.

I had a great time with it! It's much more forgiving than Final Fight, the enemies actually give you room to breathe and the difficulty curve actually functions well. There are some difficulty spikes with the bosses, but they can be figured out (though the twins were unreasonably annoying). The only part of the game I felt was unfair was the boss rush at the end, with Mr.X himself feeling super easy after that grueling gauntlet.

Graphically, it's serviceable, but aesthetically, Final Fight definitely has the upper hand. The only really memorable designs were the bosses, the juggling clown enemy, and the-one-good-guy-in-the-police who launches napalm rockets for you. Music-wise, it's SOR all the way, baby, it's catchy, high-energy, and funky all at the same time. Still have that Mr.X boss fight track in my head.

So yeah, clearly the game was heavily inspired by Final Fight, but by designing it first for the home consoles, they made an experience that gels much better with modern gaming. I will admit I used save states as checkpoints (and to get through the boss rush with minimal frustration), but if I wanted to properly play this in one sitting, it'd be totally feasible to learn the game, as it is forgiving enough, despite the spikes.

Sega may have had an Axel to grind with Capcom, but with some Adamant effort, they sure left their mark on the genre in a Blaze of glory.

Yeah, nailed it.

  My 2022 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Steamworld Dig 2 (2017) Completed (January 6th)

-Bit.Trip Saga (2009-2011) No Goal (January 15th)

-Ever Oasis (2017) Beat (February 25th)

-Guilty Gear (1998) No Goal (March 19th)

-Flashback (1992) Completed (March 19th)

-Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R (2002-2012) Beat (March 30th)

-Defenders of Oasis (1992) Completed (April 20th)

-Katamari Damacy (2004) Completed (April 27th)

-Donkey Kong Land (1995) Beat (April 29th)

-Donkey Kong Land 2 (1996) Beat (May 11th)

-Donkey Kong Land III (1997) Completed (May 28th)

-Skullgirls (2012) Beat (May 29th)

-Super Punch Patrol (2020) Beat (August 10th)

-Final Fight (1989) Completed (August 18th)

-Streets of Rage (1991) Completed (September 18th)

 

Replays:

-Kirby's Dream Land 2 (1995) (March 20th)

-Wario Land 3 (2000) (April 15th)

-King of Fighters '98 (1998) (June 30th)

-Chiki Chiki Boys (1990) (August 8th)

 

Dropped:

-Dicey Dungeons (2019) (January 3rd)

-The Room (2012) (January 8th)

-This War of Mine (2014) (March 18th)

-Virtua Fighter 2 (Mega Drive) (1996) (April 24th)

-1943: The Battle of Midway (1987) (August 3rd)

-SonSon (1987) (August 8th)

-Strider (1989) (August 9th)

 

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Immortals: Fenyx rising

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The main thing I had heard about this was that it’s very inspired by Breath of the Wild, which is a good enough game to be inspired by. While this influence is undeniable, Fenyx Rising also feels like a completely different game at the same time. With the wings of Icarus, you can glide quite a long distance, navigating the world is very easy but also enjoyable. 

Another big focus is the combat, with different attack types and abilities to create fancy combos, such as juggling enemies in the air, it’s all extremely satisfying, with a lot of enemies to dodge around. The land is filled with puzzles, and each God you have to find has a great dungeon with its own unique mechanics - those parts felt more like a traditional Zelda than BotW. 

Accompanying this journey is something I didn’t expect: lots of really fun humour from the narrator Prometheus (who is constantly interrupted by Zeus). Everything about the game is just silly and fun, which really adds to its own charm. I really ended up loving Fenyx Rising a lot. 
 

 

Disney's Dreamlight Valley

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An Animal Crossing-like game from Disney from a mobile game developer sounds like a horrific thing…so I was really surprised as to how nice this game is. I wouldn’t say it does anything special, it’s just a really pleasant experience - and really nice at the moment as I’ve been able to play one handed while holding a baby. 

One thing in particular I love about Dreamlight Valley over games like Animal Crossing is the lack of time constraints - it sometimes feels in those games that there’s only so much you can do in a day until you’ve “maxed out”, while Dreamlight Valley feels like it doesn’t matter if you spend an entire day doing stuff or just a tiny bit at a time - it feels like you progress at your own pace.

Most of the game is gathering resources, though farming, foraging and mining. These tasks deplete your energy bar, but luckily this isn’t like a mobile energy bar as you can refill by eating (usually there’s a fruit tree nearby) or by entering your home. You don’t even need to sleep, you just walk into your home and leave. Crops can take a varied amount of time to grow (a few minutes to 4 hours), with some crops needing to be watered multiple times. Mining and foraging spots respawn fairly quickly.

You will do lots of cooking and crafting. Thankfully, there are no wait timers, just put all the stuff together and you get the results instantly. There are a lot of things to make - especially recipes - so a lot to experiment with if you like doing so. 

As the game is currently in early access, there are some bugs. Thankfully, I managed to complete all the quests without any breaking. The game also isn’t fully complete, with the main story not finished and a couple of characters not having their final quest. The promise is that these updates (with new characters and areas) will be free, with a kind of “battlepass” like system for some cosmetic stuff as their way of making money in the future. 
 

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I'm a little late to the party with my August update, and I only managed to play two games because most of my time was taken up by playing Xenoblade Chronicles 3 on Switch. I won't go into too much detail about the specifics of the story or the characters but it definitely had the weakest start of any of the entries in the series that I've played, it all felt a bit too fragmented and overwhelming, throwing too many characters at you in one go, the earlier entries allow you to focus a bit more on one main character which helps to ease you in, so it was a little jarring not to have that this time around. I appreciate that Monolith have made more of an effort to make the game more accessible to new players this time, they do a better job at explaining the mechanics, but it does feel like they went a bit overboard at times, holding your hand to the point of forcing you to follow the on-screen instructions as it walks you through switching classes or assigning gems which can be a bit irritating and break the flow early on in the game. Despite the developers being more accommodating to new players the battle system still felt pretty overwhelming, even as a veteran of the series the pace at which new systems are introduced made my head spin at times and the changes from XC2 took me a while to get used to. I soon got the hang of things though, it wasn't long before the story and characters drew me in and as I reached the end of the first chapter I was well and truly hooked.

Visually I think it might be the most stunning game in the series, Monolith seem to have ironed out the most glaring issues in terms of image quality, I haven't watched the DF analysis yet so I'm sure if you really nitpick the resolution isn't very high on paper, but it holds up really well in motion and really allows the characters and environments to pop. Some of the locales are absolutely stunning, Xenoblade has always done scale really well but 3 takes it to a whole other level, there were countless awe inspiring moments as I was exploring the world, it really is a gorgeous looking game. One aspect of the presentation that really impressed with me was the sheer number of characters on screen, having so many party members actively taking part in battle can certainly be overwhelming and chaotic at times but I hardly ever noticed the frame rate suffer, even with all the effects going on, definitely Monolith's most accomplished technical achievement yet. 

Another major improvement over previous entries comes in the side quests, forgoing the fetch quest heavy design in favour of deeper and more involved quests, the most notable being the addition of Hero quests. It is so easy to get side tracked and spend hours at a time away from the story, delving deeper into the lives of the NPC's and building affinity with each colony - some of my favourite character moments came from entirely optional quests. 

It's hard to know where to rank Xenoblade 3 among the other entries in the series, in terms of the story it is definitely has the strongest 'Saturday morning cartoon' vibes that make it feel a bit daft at times, but it also had some of the most touching moments I've experienced across the series. I didn't click with the battle system in the same way I did during my playthrough of 2 or Torna but in the end it turned out to be the easiest game I've played in the series, allowing me to beat the final battle at my first attempt. There are obviously drawbacks and negatives from my time with the game, it's practically impossible for a 100 hour + game to be utterly perfect, but on the whole Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was a very special experience that will stay with me for a very long time - definitely a contender for GOTY.

Once I was finished with Xenoblade, I wrapped up August by playing through the original Wave Race on my Retroid Pocket. I don't have too much to say about it, I really struggled to get to grips with the controls so when I got to the higher classifications I was quickly left behind by the CPU so I didn't feel up to pushing on and actually 'completing' the game. It seems like it was pretty impressive for the time and the hardware but I think I'm too used to playing more modern racing games to be able to click with a top down racer. I might go back to it in future, see if I can learn the intricacies of the controls, but at the moment I'm happy to leave it behind and move onto other things.

It's been a while since I played anything on PS5 so I'll probably try and play through a few games on there next, try and clear my backlog before the big end of year games arrive to monopolise my time.

Edited by killthenet
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The Messenger

I did The Thing:

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A masterpiece. 2D-platforming at its best. :bowdown: 

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Flashback (PS4) - 2018

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The original Flashback was an important sci-fi cinematic platformer back in 1992.  The lack of updates to this 2018 version makes it feel as though it exists here for nostalgia only.  I made copious use of the new rewind function, but beyond that there's very little updated here from the 1992 version.

It plays in a similar vein to the likes of Abe's Odyssey, Another World, and the original Prince of Persia, with you controlling Conrad across non-scrolling stages, with now awkward controls for leaping, sprinting, climbing and shooting.

It's certainly better than it's predecessors, such as Another World, thanks mainly to the rechargable shield allowing me to take a few hits, whether through my own poor choices or because I was waiting for the pistol animation to finish. 

Set in 2142, but very much now just a historical artifact of gaming.

 

 

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I played Flashback on the Amiga when I was younger but I could never get very far on it. Now that I'm more experienced with games, I always wanted to give it another go. It was the same with Another World. I eventually played through that on the Xbox (360 or One, can't remember which it was) and then again on the PS4. 

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5 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I played Flashback on the Amiga when I was younger but I could never get very far on it. Now that I'm more experienced with games, I always wanted to give it another go. It was the same with Another World. I eventually played through that on the Xbox (360 or One, can't remember which it was) and then again on the PS4. 

Similar here!  Although I only played them both recently.  I must have been a lot more patient when I was younger to put up with the controls & numerous deaths!  I can also see now why I never got far with Flashback! Still, I’m glad to have played them, just for the experience, but I won’t be going back to either of them again.

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There's horror games I'll definitely love to buy, but that's way into the future. 

I hardly receive any replies on here anymore. So I wanted to keep this short and sweet. 

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