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Your 2020 in Gaming - Highs, Averages and Lows
« on: January 01, 2021, 08:33:04 am »
Here's a thread where we can share our experiences in gaming throughout 2020. If you wish to participate, simply list the games you've played this year in a highs-averages-lows ranking (or however you wish), with an additional comment (or however you wish!). It doesn't matter if your post gets long -- that's the idea! And don't feel like you must restraint yourself to games-only events and experiences.

The only things I'd recommend is being open about using save states or other cheats if you did, and to use proper paragraph division if you want to write longer texts about any of the games. Personally I tend to use save states for many older games, not in a spammy way but about once per level/area/quest, or if I need to take a break.

2019 HG101 thread:

System Shock 2 (PC, 1999) - 8 (Normal, Navy class)
Compared to SS1, it's both more linear and has less of a movement ability focus (and no cyberspace segments in the same sense), but also more RPG elements, a bit more involved stealth and hacking, better controls and interface, and better VA. In this one you start off chosing from 3 classes and get a form of skill points from exploring and completing sub goals. These are then used to grow your skills and stats pretty much however you want at certain terminals, though unlike some other games you are encouraged to make a more specialized build and stick with it, picking a few skills and stats that complement each other. There's quite a bit to customize which adds to the replay value and sense of freedom, and you can do some unusual stuff like hack security turrets to have them defend you, make yourself super fast to pull off seemingly impossible jumps, or trap enemies with a certain psi power.

Story-wise it's a lot like the first, except now there's an additional villain heavily reminiscent of the overmind from SC, which is in opposition to Shodan who also returns (no surprise there though the foreshadowing to her entrance is decent). I found this other villain a bit too one note, tough most of the audio logs telling the story of how it lures the crew over to its side and to commit various atrocities is well done. It just got a bit old by the end-game, and same goes for some of Shodan's comments ("good job insect, have some cybermodules" felt like it was repeated about 5-10 times). The ending is kind of hilaribad. Honestly it pissed me off a bit at first because the tone is mostly serious prior to it and it's definitely not satisfying in terms of what you've accomplished with the whole adventure, but watching it again it made me laugh. It might've been interesting to be able to choose sides here, between succumbing to the many (though I can't see that ending in any good way for the player), working for Shodan (also would probably just backstab you based on how she acts) or taking them both out and without it ending badly anyway.

While it's missing a few aspects I liked about SS1 and could've included some completely alternate paths to take based on your abilities (or at least had the game open up more a bit sooner), it's a very good game and I felt equal parts dread and excitement when firing it up, similar to when I played Silent Hill 2. It puts you in a hostile environment where you can't really relax anywhere and resources are limited, though with some planning and tactical play (and/or save scumming) you'll be able to get through it and it rarely feels unfair or tedious.

Ganbare Goemon 2: Kiteretsu Shougun Magginesu/Go for it! Goemon 2: The Strange General McGuinness (SNES, 1993) - 8 (1p, no difficulty options)
This one was finally fan translated last year IIRC. A hub map has been added with a few branching paths, an additional playable char in Sasuke, and other neat things like being able to push enemies into other ones after crawling and hitting their legs, being able to teleport to visited towns, and a few temporary vehicles within levels. The audiovisuals and controls are a step up, the silly tone of the other games is intact and variety is as good or better than before. For some of the boss fights you are put in a FP view mode, controlling a giant mech fighting another in a gallery shooter/fighting hybrid of sorts - it's a bit clunky and they have some arbitrary invincibility periods, but it's impressive for the SNES and cool to see the origins of after playing the N64 games, and for the finale there's a twist to this formula which I won't spoil. Finally there's an optional post-game level which references CV that you can play if you beat the game and the mini-games in one of the towns. If you like Mystical Ninja then this is a must play for SNES.

Games that exceeded my expectations:
King's Bounty (MD, 1991) - 7 (Knight, Normal)
Surprisingly complex, open-ended and well streamlined for an old PC to console port. Non-random encounters, fast movement and a good map system are some of its nicer features. While you're still better off playing the reboot or a Heroes game, this one might be worth checking out to see the origins of those. But beware, audiovisually it's pretty subpar.

Outcast (v1.1)(PC, 1999) - 6.5
In some ways. It has quite a vivid world with its own terms (and a glossary), a scanner feature which is kind of like detective mode in Arkham Asylum, lets you climb buildings and jump around on roof tops in towns, reputation and dialogue trees, a nice orchestral score before that became the norm, and a bit of an immersive sim element to how you tackle problems. On the other hand it's still very buggy, there are various interface and control issues, on foot movement is a bit slow, sometimes directions are poor and there are some backtracking issues.

Gauntlet IV (MD, 1993) - 7 (Quest mode)
This includes a mode called quest mode which plays basically like Zelda 1 but without the overworld, with exp point leveling and manual stat allocation added, and up to 4-player co-op. Not quite great but it's a nice addition to the old formula and I think most people overlook it entirely. Apparently this was one of the first M2 game, now famous for their ports. Their legacy goes far back!

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (PC, 2016) - 7.5 (Normal, 98% - all but two MP upgrades)
Was quite impressed with the overall movement, the save system (game lets you place your own save points at an energy/MP cost), and the bash ability in particular, which really changed up the platforming in a cool way. It's also a great looking game. If it was a bit more open and didn't have difficulty spikes at the end of dungeons it would've been an 8 and among the best I played this year.

Star Control II (PC, 1992/3DO, 1993)(Ur-Quan Masters remaster, 2011) - 7.5
Again a quite immersive and open world with several distinct alien races to encounter, a lot of interesting ideas for its time like being able to affect some races survival, the emergency warp or the unusual fast travel system, a comedic tone which mostly works, pretty nice ship customization and good if unbalanced thrust-based combat. There are various issues which I've posted about on the game's subreddit but overall I enjoyed it a lot.

Ganbare Goemon 2: Kiteretsu Shougun Magginesu/Go for it! Goemon 2: The Strange General McGuinness (SNES, 1993) - 8 (1p, no difficulty options)
System Shock 2 (PC, 1999) - 8 (Normal, Navy class)
Micro Machines (MD, 1993) - 7.5 SP/8 MP
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (PC, 2016) - 7.5 (Normal, 98% - all but two MP upgrades)
Batman: Arkham Asylum: GOTY Edition (PC, 2010) - 7.5 (Normal, 61%)
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 (PC, 2000) - 7.5 (beat it as allies, beat almost half the soviet campaign, normal)
Metroid Prime (GC, 2002) - 7.5 (normal/default, v1.02, about 72% completion)
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition (PC) - 7.5 (Normal, 85-ish %)
Star Control II (PC, 1992/3DO, 1993)(Ur-Quan Masters remaster, 2011) - 7.5
Shaman King: Master of Spirits (GBA, 2004) - 7.5
D/Generation (AMI) - 7.5
Spider-Man 2 (PS2, 2004) - 7.5
Ratchet & Clank (PS2, 2002) - 7.5
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (NDS) - 7? (Normal) - possibly 7.5 on hard and w/ the improvement hack
Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64) - 7
Ultracore/Hardcore (MD, 1995) - 7
King's Bounty (MD, 1991) - 7 (Knight, Normal)
Silver (PC) - 7
Gemfire (MD, 1992) - 7
Gauntlet IV (MD, 1993) - 7 (Quest mode, 1p)
The Punisher (MD, 1994) - 7 (SP, Normal)
Pepenga Pengo (MD, 1995) - 7 (SP)
Road Rash 3 (MD, 1995) - 7 (SP)
Sonic Blast Man II (SNES, 1994) - 7 or 7.5? (normal, 1p)
Xeno Crisis (MD, 2018) - 7 (1p, Easy - there's no normal, just hard and easy)
Ghost Sweeper Mikami (SNES, 1993) - 7 (default)
Gokujou Parodius (SNES, 1994) - 7 (default, beat the extra levels as well)
Shadow Man (N64, 1999) - 7 (~97/120 dark stones, 9/10 HP, 1 violator)
Rayman 2 (PC) - 7 (80-ish % collection completion)
Wario Land 3 (GBC, 2000) - 7 (got about 80% of the treasure)
Blaster Master: Blasting Again (PS1, 2000) - 7 (normal)
Shantae (GBC, 2002) - 7 (got most hearts and warp squid babies, some fireflies)
Threads of Fate (PS1) - 7 (as Rue)
Armored Core (PS1) - 7
Iji (v1.7)(PC, 2017)(Originally from 2008) - 7 (bad/sad ending)
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (GBA, 2004) - 7 (70% completion (got all hearts), SP)
Dungeon Explorer II (PCE CD, 1993) - 7 (1p, mostly as the Fighter)
Banjo-Tooie (N64, 2000) - 7 (70 jiggies)

Tiny Toon Adventures: ACME All-Stars (MD, 1994) - 7? (6.5 SP)
Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove (PC) - 6.5 or 7 if bugs are fixed (1p, fixed mode as Earl (died) and then Toejam)
Outcast (v1.1)(PC) - 6.5
Desert Strike (MD, 1992) - 6.5
Rolo to the Rescue (MD, 1992) - 6.5
Milon's Secret Castle (GB) - 6
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (MD, 1996) - 6.5? (1p)
Odyssey (AMI, 1995) - 6.5
Global Defense/SDI (SMS, 1987) - 6.5
Rygar (NES, 1987) - 6.5
Vigilance on Talos V (PC) - 6.5
Spellcaster (SMS) - 6.5
Alundra 2 (PS1) - 6.5 (Normal)
Within a Deep Forest (PC) - 6.5 (Normal)
Xak: The Art of Visual Stage (SNES) - 6.5
Tomba! 2 (PS1, 1999) - 6.5 (did about 85% of the quests, no difficulty options)
La-Mulana (PC, 2005) - 6 (~70% roms, didn't trigger hard mode, no hell temple)
Radia Senki (NES, 1991) - 6

Ikachan (PC, 2000) - 5.5
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? (MD, 1992) - 5
Ecco Jr. (MD, 1995) - 5
Space Hunter (NES) - 5
Clash at Demonhead (NES, 1989) - 5.5 (due to the bomb defusal part, otherwise 6)

Gave up on:
International Superstar Soccer Deluxe (MD, 1996) - 7.5? wanna try 2-player, Puyo Puyo (MD, 1992)(Scenario mode, normal) - 7, Ms. Pac-Man (MD, 1991)(1p) - 7, Eternal Daughter (PC) - 6.5, Shapeshifter (PCE CD) - 5.5?, Clock Tower (SNES, 1995) - 6? (WIP, maybe), Osomatsu-Kun (MD, 1988) - 5, Asterix and the Power of the Gods (MD, 1995) - 5.5, Alien 3 (MD, 1992) - 6.5, Paperboy (MD, 1991) - 5.5?, Super Hang-On (MD, 1989) - 6?
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Re: Your 2020 in Gaming - Highs, Averages and Lows
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2021, 01:31:49 pm »
I am astonished that you have that much time to play that many games.

The gaming low was the same as it is every year: I accumulated even more games that I never got around to playing.  And I continued to procrastinate building a new PC.  There was that moment when the hack for using the old Steam Library UI stopped working, and I ended up wiping my entire Steam library from my hard drive; that was quite something.

I had hoped to at least finish Gray Matter, but I only got a few chapters in before I got distracted.

Ultimately I just played some more of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, and a lot of 3DS Picross.
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Re: Your 2020 in Gaming - Highs, Averages and Lows
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2021, 01:57:21 pm »
For the most part this is from 1-2 hours a day of gaming, with a bunch of days where I didn't play anything at all, so it's nothing too crazy. Many of the games are short too.

That was a low for me as well, I bought at least 10+ games on GOG and Steam that I haven't touched yet.
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Re: Your 2020 in Gaming - Highs, Averages and Lows
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2021, 03:53:05 pm »
System Shock 1 and 2 are sadly in more or less the same category as the original Deus Ex game for me - I respect them, but didn't enjoy playing them myself that much, even back in the 90s (tried to approach them a couple more times, but it never really panned out). I don't know, there's just something that I don't like about open-world first-person RPGs, or maybe it's just those series (I'll say more once I have played Cyberpunk).

I'm curious about Silver, what were your impressions about it? I missed out on that one completely back when it came out and now it's very easy to find it extremely cheap.

As for my games:

Hollow Knight - 9 for me, a game exactly in the style I like (meaning, a Metroidvania with lots of stuff to find). I'm eagerly awaiting Silksong now that I've fully finished this one. Great music, visuals and everything else.
Disco Elysium - 9 for sure. One of the best RPGs ever, with "tons" of different outcomes and possibilities. I'd put it close to my favourites in the genre, Fallout and Planescape: Torment.
Pirates!Gold/Starflight/Shadowrun - all 9 for me - my top 3 RPGs for the Genesis, ones that I return to quite often, and this year I happened to replay all of them.
Dusk - 8; a pretty good retro-style FPS (they call them boomer shooters now, apparently, heh). I liked it a lot, though the 2nd chapter was the weakest IMO. Still one of the best representatives of the genre.
Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare - around 8 too - played it through Carnby's scenario in the past, but only managed to beat both scenarios this year. I liked both stories and the atmosphere IMO is the best out of all the games of this type (pre-rendered graphics + fixed camera angles), the settings are great too for a horror game like that.
All Ganbare Goemon SNES games - around 8 as well, enjoyed how fun and quirky they were. Shame only 1 got localized.
Alien Isolation - 8; grabbed it on EGS for free this year (EGS is for me a place to grab free stuff I missed out on generally). Really enjoyed the atmosphere, and I'm not really a fan of stealth games at all (Assassin's Creed and most Metal Gear Solid games bore me to tears, sadly), but this one really clicked with me somehow.

Blair Witch Project trilogy - most of them around 6-7, I liked the Rustin Parr one the most by far, so that one is probably around 7,5 overall. All of them are horror games with fixed camera angles/tank controls. I generally "hate" tank controls and consider them to be one of the worst design decisions ever, but they bothered me less here and in Alone in the Dark than in RE.
Karnov - 7 (play the fan-translated JP version, it has cutscenes)
Willow NES - 7. I liked it, but it's rather repetitive in parts, if not for that I'd give it 7,5 or maybe even 8.

I'll have to think about the lows (and some other less memorable titles), since I generally don't really play crappy games or ones that I don't enjoy for whatever reaon, don't want to waste time on that when I can avoid it, so generally "mids" are usually the lowest category for me.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2021, 03:58:54 pm by cccmar »


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Re: Your 2020 in Gaming - Highs, Averages and Lows
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2021, 06:01:46 pm »
man you're so strict. some of the most iconic games only get a 7 from you. i'm curious, are there any games at all that you'd give a solid 10 to?
anyway, my playtimes are inflated and include retries, replays and occasional naps. here goes:

Return of the Obra Dinn – an unorthodox nautical mystery puzzle with a stylish presentation. took me 17 hours to solve. 10/10 maybe a bit short, but a great game, really special, just one of a kind.

Ara Fell – this jRPG blends the familiar with the new into a highly competent game. made in RPGMaker, but scripted and customized into its own style. perfect for the 'jRPG' mood. there's a couple missables that i stupidly missed, so it made me replay the whole game again, yaay! ~145 hours for two playthroughts. it's a long game, it's good. 10/10 can't find anything wrong with it.

Star Ocean - The Last Hope – an overly melodramatic grand space opera with a cast of very pale characters (guess that's what lack of sun in space does to you). i actually played this for a while a few years back, but got bored in a couple hours just before i left the first planet. came back to it with a different mindset, took my time to enjoy the battle system, did my research for missables, and really tried to stop and smell the flowers. ~140 hours to beat the main game and tackle the first bonus dungeon for a bit. great adventure. great game. incessant drama. 10/10

Yu-No – played the original '97 windows version with the fan translation, because it's seemingly superior over the modern remake. and what a brilliant classic it was! yeah it's a bit crude, and some of the sex scenes just wouldn't do nowadays, but you can really see how this game set some modern trends into motion. the soundrack is stunning, the graphics are detailed and lively, even in this low-res. the adventuring is a bit clunky, but fun. the metagame calls for a walkthrough (or at least a good map), but my first couple blind walkthrougs were surprisingly interesting. ~40 hours to finish 100%. 10/10 timeless classic.

428 Shibuya Scramble – VN illustrated with real-life photos and footage of live actors. took me ~40 hours to 100% this, what a ride. won't say much 'cos it's best with no spoilers. 10/10 if you don't know this, this is pure genius.

Hand of Fate 2 – slowly tackled the various scenarios throught the years. great boardgame with action fighting. ~100 hours and counting. 10/10 original, tactical and deep, needs both reflexes and thinking.

STEINS;GATE – good trip. it's a Japanese VN, so it just can't take itself seriously, but it's a great sci-fi story nonetheless. played with a fan improvement patch for HQ visuals and audio. ~40 hours to 100%. 10/10 great VN.

The Messenger – not Ninja Gaiden. great platformer/metroidvania. great soundtrack. semi-hard difficulty when going for some of the optional extras, average difficulty otherwise. just really fun to play. ~35 hours for a few playthroughts. 9/10 because there's no substance to the script, and it tries too hard to be funny. aw give it 10/10 just for the soundtrack hehe.

Ouroboros – a cheap little smutty game that's much better than it has any right to be. interesting mechanics of being trapped in a perpetual cycle and working towards breaking out. played with a R18 patch, the smut is kinda meh, but it's intended to be here, so go with it. ~15 hours to finish. 9/10 feels cheap with standard RPGMaker assets, but is a brilliant example of an unorthodox storytelling.

Blasphemous – a nice, competent metroidvania with a dark style based on medieval martyrdom iconography. ~20 hours to beat. 9/10 brutal but good.

Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book – my first in the series, and i really liked it. this slice of life of a simple alchemist feels strangely comforting. took me ~65 hours before the final boss kicks my ass, and i no longer find the strength to grind for ingredients to forge equipment with the optimal stats. but the game is good, the alchemy is fun to play around with, the 'town life' feels nice, and the battle system is simple but kinda fun when you get into it. 9/10

Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment – another MMO simulator, this one features some interesting mechanics. pretty fun. ~100 hours in, finished the 'Hollow Fragment' storyline, main storyline on hold until i'm in the mood to grind the bed scenes with the last couple chicks so i don't miss out on some extra scenes. dating in this game is so grindy and mindless it hurts. 8/10 good game otherwise.

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth – pretty mindless but it's just so fun to evolve your digimons into their countless forms. and you get to play detective here, so it's a plus. ~40 hours in, still on one of the early chapters. 8/10 digimon you know.

The 25th Ward, a sequel to The Silver Case. the story kinda drags on, and is overall slightly less engaging than what you had in TSC, but what it lacks in its story, it makes up for with presentation. there's something hypnotising with Suda's take on game interfaces, these backgrounds animated in sync with the music, all the little details. maybe it's not the best game there is, but it's like a piece of modern art, something to examine, experience and admire. anyway, the original is better, but this one is still good. 8/10 for somewhat weak story.

Final Fantasy XI Online – now this thing's ancient in MMO standards, it's almost 20 years old! surprisingly, it's still pretty much alive, with an active community and heaps upon heaps of content, piled up throughout all these years. the graphics have aged considerably, some outside environments and such are painful to look at at first, but it does have its style and is overall a charming, spunky game with tons of stuff to do. spent a couple months on it and it was really good, much better than many modern MMOs. playing with a controller is highly recommended. 8/10 because it could use a graphical overhaul, but it's overall a very solid MMO even in this day.

Unworthy – another nice metroidvania with a grim atmosphere. looks like a trend. this one comes with an added twist of no jumping, so the fights are less action-oriented, and more deliberate, so to say. but it's good. pretty hard. minimalistic. feels short and a bit barebones, even though i have ~25 hours on the clock. well must've slept. anyway it's solid. 8/10

.hack//G.U. Last Recode – yeah another MMO simulator. slowly played through the original trilogy the last couple years. what's left for me is this beast of a last optional dungeon, and the extra episode, but that's short i hear. so yeah, it's pretty good. ~180 hour to finish, but i really took my time, and it's basically three games, so it was bound to take a while. 8/10 gets repetitive, but it's good overall.

Tales of Berseria – a prequel to Tales of Zestiria. plays like a fresh, streamlined version of ToZ, with a less cliched plot that actually gets kinda interesting at times. fights are fun, but spamming the demon arm attack gets the job done 99% of the time, even on higher difficulty settings, so it was fun to play the other party members for some variety. ~150 hours to beat. umm 8/10 because it's fun but kinda standard in the series, all things considered.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 – yeah more of the same. ~50 hours to beat the main story and some extra episodes. 7/10 competent but kinda redundant. the cast feels bland.

AI: The Somnium Files – funny but kinda stupid, in comparison to this director's earlier Zero Escape trilogy, which was pure gold. ~30 hours. umm 7/10 because hey, it's fun. but stupid.

NITE Team 4 – a hacking sim with a story of international intrigue (what else). sure, it's always cool to play a hacker. however, i feel many other hacking games did things better, and it doesn't stand out on its own. still fun to play for its quirks and the slick hacking interface, but it feels kinda basic. the user-created content and the extra stories are fine additions, but the base feels kinda lacking. The Black Watchmen and Ahnayro by the same devs are better, more intelligent games. done with the main story and some extra content in ~45 hours. 7/10

Mirror's Edge Catalyst – i liked the original Mirror's Edge better, but this one's not bad either. the open world structure is ok, the parkour feels fine, and the art direction is impeccable this time around too, the futuristic city looks stunning. but the story is cliched, the open world feels cramped anyhow, the fights interrupt your freeflow frequently, etc. it's good, but you gotta compare with the original, which was flawless, so it only gets 7/10 just because it looks so good. 30 hours to beat with no rush.

Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition – another VN. it's like a couple intertwined stories, and the first one is good. you're an amnesiac trapped in a nuclear research lab on lockdown with the reactor slowly melting down as you fight against time and leaking radiation to save as many lives as possible. but of course it's a japanese VN, so the other stories feature some awful teenagers with psionic abilities eating out, picking clothes, and doing other mundane, uninteresting things. i slogged through this, and it does pick up later, when all the loose ends finally start tying together. but it never fully picks up the pace after the first story, so 9/10 for the first story, 6/10 for the whole game. took ~50 hours to 100%.

Ni No Kuni – actually didn't like it as much as the second game in the series. it appears unfinished, or at least rushed terribly, and i feel the Ghibli guys didn't really give it their best here. ~55 hours to finish. 6/10 kinda bland with schematic progression (gather scattered power, find ultra weapon, kill the bad foozle).

there's plenty more, but that's enough.

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Re: Your 2020 in Gaming - Highs, Averages and Lows
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2021, 07:10:11 pm »
I'm curious about Silver, what were your impressions about it? I missed out on that one completely back when it came out and now it's very easy to find it extremely cheap.

I couldn't find the comment I made on reddit when playing it but here's my mini-review/pros and cons list:

Basically it's a pretty good attempt to flesh out Diablo's gameplay and setting with more complex mouse-driven combat and a swashbuckling adventure spanning various areas you can move between via a hub map, while simulating the MP experience of that with CPU allies added to the mix. Interestingly it uses pre-rendered backgrounds so if you can imagine a mix between Diablo and something like Resident Evil, that's Silver. You have some control over the allies but not to the same extent as in Secret of Mana for example, it's a bit rough in this regard but still serviceable. You might wanna try the DC version if you're not into mouse-driven controls for swinging your sword and such, and because of the bugs.

January 01, 2021, 07:17:41 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
man you're so strict. some of the most iconic games only get a 7 from you. i'm curious, are there any games at all that you'd give a solid 10 to?
anyway, my playtimes are inflated and include retries, replays and occasional naps. here goes:

Which ones in particular? I haven't actually given a 10 to anything since my teens or so, but a 7 is a good game to me that I consider worth beating, if not replaying. I pretty much consider a 10 as a flawless experience, something like plato's idea of perfect forms.

Some 9s for me are Starcraft, Super Metroid, SMB 3 SNES, Link's Awakening and perhaps Mother 3. SM might actually be a 10 if we take the various romhacks into account.

Nice post, I'll have to read it fully when I'm less tired!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2021, 07:17:58 pm by PresidentLeever »
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Re: Your 2020 in Gaming - Highs, Averages and Lows
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2021, 07:43:22 pm »
oh all right, i'm more realistic in my scoring. 10 is simply an outstanding title in its genre. substract 1-2 points for a fairer comparison.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2021, 07:49:29 pm by thr »


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Re: Your 2020 in Gaming - Highs, Averages and Lows
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2021, 11:52:05 pm »
Link's Awakening DX: I played this for the first time on my GBC.  Boy, that was a treat!  I can't really say anything that hasn't been said about it though.  I plan to tackle the Oracle games this year.

Death Road to Canada: This is the most fun I've ever had with a zombie game ever.  You take the pattern of Oregon Trail, mash it up with Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Left 4 Dead.   On the surface, it's maybe yet another zombie game... kinda like the similar sounding organ trail, okay.  But there's this layer of absurdity and fun all over this that just makes the whole thing enjoyable forever.  Add that together with the perfect year for this game and presto, instant mainstay for the year!

Pokemon Crystal Clear: They bill this as non-linear Crystal, but this is oh so much more than that.  This succeeds more in putting you up as "that normal trainer" rather than as a hero than any Pokemon game ever did.  It also does things for nuking the trade requirement that only I felt like I thought of, like for example the Gen 1 TMs are open to you.  You can even inject your own player sprite and starter, and you can even change the palette of one Pokemon.  I highly recommend this, every update brings something else you never thought would be in a GBC game.

NHL '94/Mutant League Hockey: Pandemics lead you to try strange things out of hunger for things you miss, sometimes they are good.  Color me impressed, I can see why people are still playing this in a big way for decades.  Mutant League uses the same engine, so I'm going to put this in the same place.  I tend to prefer Mutant League though, it feels even more like hockey for people who don't know the sport.

Space Invaders (GBC): Known as Space Invaders X in Japan.  I was playing this waaaay more than I thought I would be.  It's a simple premise: you take the original game, add stages with different enemy patterns, a powerup system, a dash button, and go to town.  I can clearly see that Titan Attacks got inspiration from this game.

Assault Rigs: Fun with tanks in a maze.  Play this if you enjoy games like Battlezone or Faceball.

NanoTek Warrior: A somewhat overlooked PS1 game that is very much in the vein of Tempest or N2O.  But you jump a lot more and there are a lot more non-enemy hazards to deal with.

Pokemon Grape: Though I list this in the mid section, you should look this up just as much as Crystal Clear.  It's based on Red, but has a sort of inbetween generations thing going on with the battle system.  Plenty of new types added to keep things fresh too, and the story's pretty nuts.

The Grinch (GBC): This is... good!?  Now, it's not the most amazing thing ever, but it does have Konami's name on it.  It's like a "collect all the stuff maze" game, but on Metal Gear Solid's GBC engine.

Petris: Neat recent GBC homebrew, neat take on tetris.

One Deck Dungeon: I had a lot more fun with this than I had expected, really good digital adaptation.  It's basically a dungeon crawler, but as a card game with a whole bunch of dice.  No dungeon master really needed, fits comfortably within 1 player's grasp with no AI chasing you.  Enemies and traps are fought by roling dice according to your attributes, and filling them within certain boxes that add up to a given number.  Each one you fill up means the penalty listed on the box didn't happen to you in combat.

Among Us: A roaring laugh, but only with friends and people you know.  Don't even acknowledge the random game whatever, it's a total waste of your time.

Tecmo Super Bowl: SBlueman Edition: I had a fun time here, though is it just me or is the AI a might bit aggressive in vanilla?  I still prefer the original, but the conversion to new stuff here is expertly done.  I also feel like the coloring job is better on skin.

Pokemon Perfect Emerald: Hacking this for years burnt me out.  Color me surprised when I return to find out that people have done the same thing I did but better.  Don't play mine, play this.  Alternate picks: Emerald Final and CosmicEmerald, though I just plain like Perfect better.

Risk (PC/Mobile): At first glance this is yet another freemium game, but look a little closer and maybe buy something.  And then you have what is probably the best digital risk ever made.  Tons of scenarios and maps to play, quick dice and set up that are optional if you need them, what more could you want?  I just wish this had 2210 as a DLC somewhere.

Garfield: The Search for Pooky (GBA): No thank you, one look at this game will tell you why, this is possibly the worst interpretation of a comic through sprites I've ever seen.  Though I appreciate the comic cutscenes.

King of Crusher: Sorry translator, you're a cool person for doing this but I just couldn't get into it mostly because of the controls.  This is basically Violent Mental Breakdown Simulator.  I can see this game still being released today with slightly better visuals and controls, it'd work for fans of games like Untitled Goose Game.  I think.

Williams Pinball (mobile): Ugh, just ugh.  When I cheered Zen getting the Williams license I did not see this crap coming.  All I wanted was the Zen Pinball app but for Williams/Bally tables, and instead I get infinite grinding.  The tables themselves?  They look and play great, just as good as FX3!  Oh, but how you get them... there's three or four different currencies in this game which you can't really obtain by just playing tables in arcade mode, and recently they decided to sell us the latest addition to the williams family in a temporary actual sale (otherwise you never get to buy tables outright, just random part loot boxes) for twice as much as FX3.  I just checked, the store has just abou the same deal but for only what amounts to half the progress on the table as opposed to a complete unlock.  Hard pass, I still own almost all of the pinball arcade before the license was yeeted anyway.

There's probably a boatload of GB/C games I've forgotten to post.  I did a lot of that due to getting an Everdrive.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2021, 12:53:39 am by Chronosplit »

Sliver X

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Re: Your 2020 in Gaming - Highs, Averages and Lows
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2021, 11:23:10 pm »
The newer-ish games I played this year that impressed me the most were The Outer Worlds and Horizon - Zero Dawn. Both had me spending multiple days at work miserable due to playing until 4am, which rarely happens for me these days.

The Outer Worlds had a really good story (Along with equally competent writing and voice acting) with solid enough gunplay: It really reminded me of Fallout - New Vegas, which I consider a good thing.

Horizon - Zero Dawn I enjoyed most due to the combat system: It took over 70 hours before I got bored fighting things. The story was kind of interesting but starts falling apart with any amount of critical thinking applied to it.

I also really enjoyed Prodeus, but it's way too short as of now and just left me pissed that there wasn't more.

I really disliked Doom Eternal for various reasons: The design choice to severely limit ammo holding capacity to force the player to use the chainsaw and flamethrower pissed me off to no end: I get that the combat is supposed to have a "flow" to it but it never felt natural and I kept wishing I could give up half my arsenal and abilities just to hold double ammo for what remained.

The platform aspect of it also kind of sucks. Half the time I felt like I was playing some shitty 3D Mega Man knockoff instead of an FPS. The shift in tone making it as goofy as it is sometimes (Like Doom Slayer's room...) also completely washes away any sense of horror or dread that the previous Doom games had in droves.

I also played Cyberpunk 2077 and got a refund from GoG after three days: What a god forsaken dumpster fire. Bugs aside the AI for NPCs felt like something out of GTA3. The environment was technically very pretty but it felt like some kind of giant exhibit populated by animatronic robots, and dumb ones at that. Performance even on a decent PC (Core i5 9600K, GeForce RTX 2070 Super with 32GB of RAM running off an NVME SSD) was also crap.

Assuming CDProjekt Red doesn't go bankrupt due to the shareholder lawsuits and such I expect in a year or two (And 4,000 patches later) it might turn into a good game like Witcher 3, at least?

« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 11:52:27 pm by Sliver X »