Finished Any Games Lately?

I think I'm on fire - this is, what, the 3rd game I've finished in the space of a week? I guess that's what happens when you have so many games going on at once.

Well, tonight I finished off The Mummy Demastered. It's a metroidvania that's more Metroid than Vania. Which is kind of unusual for the genre, I think? While it does have the supernatural horror theme of Castlevania games, it focusses a lot more on the isolation aspect, while also featuring absolutely none of the RPG mechanics that you'd expect to see in IGA's Castlevania games.

It's best strength is that it's a really good looking game. Really nice pixel art - I wish Samus Returns looked even close to this good. The second best thing about it is that it's a rare example where a flamethrower weapon is actually as awesome as it sounds. The rest of the game is kind of ordinary.

The story is completely boring - you're a generic soldier sent to kill an evil mummy. The mummy keeps spawning evil boss fights while moving around the world. Eventually in one room she stops running, but still spawns an evil thing. You kill them both, credits roll. The reason you're a generic solider is due to a 'relocate your corpse' mechanic in the obligatory Dark Souls reference.

Anyway, I guess the TL;DR, one for fans of the genre that have completely exhausted the likes of Hollow Knight, Bloodstained, Monster Tale, Axiom Verge, Timespinner, and every other Metroid and Castlevania. This is a good game, don't get me wrong, but this genre is filled with so many great games that it can't help but seem pretty ordinary in comparison.

Finished Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart last night, which was like some kind of ray-traced, 1440p distillation of FUN. Fun combat, fun levels, fun weapons, fun variety of mini-games to break things up, fun set pieces, ...overly earnest writing that could be grating in its patronizing supportiveness if you're a boomer grump..., fun voice acting, jokes that land most of the time, fun and inventive use of the DualSense (the most amazing controller I've ever used), and fun collectible hunting for my OCD itch.

Really, pretty much unadulterated fun is what sums up this game, on top of the beautiful and smooth-playing graphics that immediately gobsmack your eyes. It's been a long time since I've had this much pure fun from a game, and it brought back so many happy memories of playing the original Ratchet & Clank games on my PS2.

My original plan with the PS5 was to hold off on buying new games until they dropped in price, because that $70 price tag is a little hard to swallow. I bought Miles Morales at launch, because you've got to have at least one launch game (that was my rationale, although Astro's Playroom was a free and spectacular launch game in its own right, and an incredible showcase for the DualSense). And it's been the best possible way to play though my PS4 backlog, which got even bigger with the free PS4 games that came with a combination of a PS5 and PS+ membership. But when Sony did a preview of the game a couple months ago, it looked so good that I pre-ordered it, figuring I'd probably have sufficient time to cancel if advance word wasn't stellar. Turned out that wasn't a necessity, and I really don't regret paying full price for a game this good.

I'm on record as thinking every game can be improved by removing combat, but the weapons in this game are so much fun that before the final sequence I leveled all my principals up by grinding through matches in the arena, something I never do in games. Another thing I never do in games is play New Game+, because there are so many good games that I haven't gotten around to, but I'm probably going to do that here, because I gather there are even more weapons and items to unlock, and I want to take the time to really revel in the gorgeous environments.

In short, a thumbs up.

I wrapped up Life is Strange 2 the other day. I was not expecting to actually be allowed to make some of the decisions that I was. Man...what an ending. I didn't absolutely love it as much as the first one or Before the Storm. But it was still a great time.

Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart is the second PS5 exclusive I've finished this year, in short it's a highly polished, fun ride but it sticks too close to the formula to really leave a lasting mark.

The high points are the weapons. You can ping pong enemies with the Ricochet Gun, chain electric shock a whole group of foes with the Lightning Rod, send out the Topiary Sprinkler that turns everyone into a leafy statue. The Buzz Blades send out tons of little circular spinning blades that bounce off the environmental furniture & enemies to create chaos on the battlefield. Insomniac also expertly manage ammo for each weapon so that your forced to use most of the up your arsenal :p

The added dash ability is new & it's a satisfying addition. The rocket boots enable mid air speed skating around any environment (once they are acquired) but are especially useful in Savali with its big open spaces complete with both passive wildlife & groups of enemies at different points of the map.

The story is improved over the 2016 remake, being at it's strongest with the personal interactions between Rivet & Kit. The big overall plotline of stopping Dr Nefarious invading other dimensions after stealing the Dimensionator is just an excuse to go to a bunch of cool looking places. It does it's job but your not going to be terribly engaged.

Now onto some of the annoying or weaker aspects of the game. There were a lot of repeated attacks from both bosses & elite enemies. The two stand out ones being the purple laser that goes right to left, then the big rock picked out of the ground & chucked in your direction. The general enemies were a lot more fun, some of the reactionary animations or effects on them from the assortment of attacks just ramp up the fun factor of the combat. To see a Shatterbomb throw a whole bunch of enemies up in the air that were closing in on you is a blast....literally.

Other nitpicks were that they didn't really take the structure of the planets to the next level vs other games in the series. This was a chance to add in more paths through levels, trickier secrets to find, some of the pipes, boxes, other bits of furniture etc that you should have been able to jump on that you couldn't. Sections that could have had a few bits off the beaten path were extremely linear.

Probably the biggest disappointment bar the structure were the rifts. These are essentially just preset points in levels that act as grappling points, hugely impressive visually but not as free form as I thought they'd initially be going in. There is also a split second after you hit L1 that you can still take damage so you need to be careful using them in the heat of battle.

Counter point to that is the crystals on one planet in particular. Smacking these with your hammer/ratchet switches you between two completely different environments (different in look, in layout etc) almost instantaneously. It ties fairly well into gameplay too especially grinding on the rails, still I'd like to see this idea pushed further.

Breaking boxes & hoovering up bolts still gives you that mini endorphin type feeling, it has to be bolts btw.....don't dare change it! The graphics are another win, the fur on River/Ratchet looks movie good, the reflections on the environment were another neat flourish. Lastly there can be a lot of enemies onscreen at one time with multiple weapons in play at once, it's very impressive. I still think Demons Souls is by far the best looker on PS5 though.

In finishing this isn't the GOTY contender I was almost sure I was gonna get. It didn't shake up things enough or be bolder in it's design. Still Rift Apart is a visual treat that's a lot of fun to play.

Just polished off Black Mesa. This was a lot more fun than I remember from the last time I played Half-Life (back at release in '98). I agree Xen went on too long, but at least they were mostly putting fresh ideas or at least variations on a theme in front of you for most of it. Now on the Heaven's Vault for the adventure game club!

Spikeout wrote:

Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart is the second PS5 exclusive I've finished this year, in short it's a highly polished, fun ride but it sticks too close to the formula to really leave a lasting mark.

I also just finished Rift Apart a couple of days ago, and I agree with this. I had a really fun time with it: the DualSense features were highlighted quite well; the Lemmings-esque minigames were a delightful little palette cleanser; and heck, even the story proved to be interesting! I wasn't as enthused by the rifts as it seems everyone else was, though.

Just finished off Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore. Been slowly chipping away at it over the last few months or so. Essentially it's a Persona game with a bit of Fire Emblem, only set in the world of J-pop idols. That's whole new territory for me and kind of pushed some limits with me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it a lot, but it's probably the closest I've played to a guilty pleasure for a long time.

Generally speaking though, I appreciated the light-hearted tone and how relatively player-friendly it was.

Spikeout wrote:

Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart is the second PS5 exclusive I've finished this year, in short it's a highly polished, fun ride but it sticks too close to the formula to really leave a lasting mark.

The high points are the weapons. You can ping pong enemies with the Ricochet Gun, chain electric shock a whole group of foes with the Lightning Rod, send out the Topiary Sprinkler that turns everyone into a leafy statue. The Buzz Blades send out tons of little circular spinning blades that bounce off the environmental furniture & enemies to create chaos on the battlefield. Insomniac also expertly manage ammo for each weapon so that your forced to use most of the up your arsenal :p

The added dash ability is new & it's a satisfying addition. The rocket boots enable mid air speed skating around any environment (once they are acquired) but are especially useful in Savali with its big open spaces complete with both passive wildlife & groups of enemies at different points of the map.

The story is improved over the 2016 remake, being at it's strongest with the personal interactions between Rivet & Kit. The big overall plotline of stopping Dr Nefarious invading other dimensions after stealing the Dimensionator is just an excuse to go to a bunch of cool looking places. It does it's job but your not going to be terribly engaged.

Now onto some of the annoying or weaker aspects of the game. There were a lot of repeated attacks from both bosses & elite enemies. The two stand out ones being the purple laser that goes right to left, then the big rock picked out of the ground & chucked in your direction. The general enemies were a lot more fun, some of the reactionary animations or effects on them from the assortment of attacks just ramp up the fun factor of the combat. To see a Shatterbomb throw a whole bunch of enemies up in the air that were closing in on you is a blast....literally.

Other nitpicks were that they didn't really take the structure of the planets to the next level vs other games in the series. This was a chance to add in more paths through levels, trickier secrets to find, some of the pipes, boxes, other bits of furniture etc that you should have been able to jump on that you couldn't. Sections that could have had a few bits off the beaten path were extremely linear.

Probably the biggest disappointment bar the structure were the rifts. These are essentially just preset points in levels that act as grappling points, hugely impressive visually but not as free form as I thought they'd initially be going in. There is also a split second after you hit L1 that you can still take damage so you need to be careful using them in the heat of battle.

Counter point to that is the crystals on one planet in particular. Smacking these with your hammer/ratchet switches you between two completely different environments (different in look, in layout etc) almost instantaneously. It ties fairly well into gameplay too especially grinding on the rails, still I'd like to see this idea pushed further.

Breaking boxes & hoovering up bolts still gives you that mini endorphin type feeling, it has to be bolts btw.....don't dare change it! The graphics are another win, the fur on River/Ratchet looks movie good, the reflections on the environment were another neat flourish. Lastly there can be a lot of enemies onscreen at one time with multiple weapons in play at once, it's very impressive. I still think Demons Souls is by far the best looker on PS5 though.

In finishing this isn't the GOTY contender I was almost sure I was gonna get. It didn't shake up things enough or be bolder in it's design. Still Rift Apart is a visual treat that's a lot of fun to play.

Fantastic write up Spikeout. I’m not sure the R&C games are entirely my thing but I was highly anticipating this one after loving Spider-man (Rift Apart would be my first game in the series.) Hopefully you’ve reset my expectations enough that I’ll enjoy it rather than feeling frustrated that it doesn’t match up to the wild game I had in my head.

halfwaywrong wrote:

Just finished off Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore. Been slowly chipping away at it over the last few months or so. Essentially it's a Persona game with a bit of Fire Emblem, only set in the world of J-pop idols. That's whole new territory for me and kind of pushed some limits with me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it a lot, but it's probably the closest I've played to a guilty pleasure for a long time.

Generally speaking though, I appreciated the light-hearted tone and how relatively player-friendly it was.

Nice! I picked it up on Switch sale but the long time on HowLongToBeat has paralyzed me from starting. Maybe a chip away plan is better.

Higgledy wrote:

Fantastic write up Spikeout. I’m not sure the R&C games are entirely my thing but I was highly anticipating this one after loving Spider-man (Rift Apart would be my first game in the series.) Hopefully you’ve reset my expectations enough that I’ll enjoy it rather than feeling frustrated that it doesn’t match up to the wild game I had in my head.

Yeah I think I got a bit too carried away with how good Rift Apart was gonna be. The rifts unfortunately aren't the game changers I was expecting. After playing the 2016 remake it didn't feel as big a jump forward in the mechanics & new ideas that I thought we were due with a PS5 exclusive.

Still its absolutely worth giving it a shot if you ever get around to trying it, tempered expectations will help a lot too

Stele wrote:
halfwaywrong wrote:

Just finished off Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore. Been slowly chipping away at it over the last few months or so. Essentially it's a Persona game with a bit of Fire Emblem, only set in the world of J-pop idols. That's whole new territory for me and kind of pushed some limits with me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it a lot, but it's probably the closest I've played to a guilty pleasure for a long time.

Generally speaking though, I appreciated the light-hearted tone and how relatively player-friendly it was.

Nice! I picked it up on Switch sale but the long time on HowLongToBeat has paralyzed me from starting. Maybe a chip away plan is better.

The game lends itself pretty well to that approach. There's 6 chapters, and while there's an over-arching story, each chapters story is fairly self-contained and not overly long.

Finished off Haven (via Game Pass), and absolutely adored the vibe, from the start screen. IMAGE( https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/240/google/274/heart-with-arrow_1f498.png)

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/ykrAUxm.jpg)

The interactions between the main characters is *chef’s kiss* IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/240/google/274/revolving-hearts_1f49e.png)

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/GOy5xA8.png)

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/vHNTEdu.png)

Yu and Kay are just wonderful. The game being focused on their relationship is so much fun. IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/240/google/274/growing-heart_1f497.png)

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/1Okd5vV.png)

I honestly didn’t know a game like this existed. IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/240/apple/285/smiling-face-with-smiling-eyes_1f60a.png)

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/zorJ5K6.jpg)

Haven sounds great! I might need to check it out.

Finished Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion just the other day. Got the secret final boss after getting all the documents in the game and ripping them up. Fun little zelda-like with an anarchist slant of humor that was just the right length. Took me under three hours all together.

Die Hard (Turbografx-16)

Yeah, so apparently there's a Die Hard game on the TG-16 that only came out in Japan. Who knew?

I went into it hoping for a dumpster fire to laugh at, but sadly the game is fairly decent. It's by no means good, but I had fun for the hour it took to beat. It's basically a top-down Contra, but generic and low budget. The levels kept repeating sections so often I honestly thought I was in one of those repeating maze sections, but nope. It's a linear game and I was always on the right path. Quite a few liberties are taken with the plot (e.g. you fight through a swamp in one level), but nothing out of the ordinary for games of the time. The bosses are weird, but fun and take some strategy to take out besides just blasting away at them.

And hey, at least it's better than the NES version.

Djinn wrote:

Die Hard (Turbografx-16)

Yeah, so apparently there's a Die Hard game on the TG-16 that only came out in Japan. Who knew?

I went into it hoping for a dumpster fire to laugh at, but sadly the game is fairly decent. It's by no means good, but I had fun for the hour it took to beat. It's basically a top-down Contra, but generic and low budget. The levels kept repeating sections so often I honestly thought I was in one of those repeating maze sections, but nope. It's a linear game and I was always on the right path. Quite a few liberties are taken with the plot (e.g. you fight through a swamp in one level), but nothing out of the ordinary for games of the time. The bosses are weird, but fun and take some strategy to take out besides just blasting away at them.

And hey, at least it's better than the NES version.

Imagine paying $50 for it (or whatever new games cost for Canadians in the 90's)

Got Black Mesa for a fiver in the Steam sale and had a good nostalgic run through of the game, just finished. Very enjoyable and they really got the feel of Half Life except for the Zen sequences which seemed far too long, totally random and not particularly enjoyable.

Finished 2 in a few days. Went back to Control after a couple months off. Had to grind out a few more ability points to get my health up but then the last few hours were pretty straightforward. Even stumbled into the AWE expansion at one point. Had a real blast playing it and I’ll definitely come back around to the expansions and the last few trophies I’m missing at some point.

And in the last hour I just beat the final level of Mario v Rabbids. That was so much fun and I’m really looking forward to the next one. I pretty much settled on a team of Mario, Luigi and Rabbid Peach for most of it and it started to get a bit easy in the last world, but that final battle took a bit of puzzling out. Looking for another turn based game like it now so probably gonna make a start on Fire Emblem.

After 103 hours of pure magic and endless enjoyment, I finished Persona 5 Royal, and what an amazing game this was. I loved absolutely everything about it: the music, the art direction, the story, the characters... Probably the longest game I've ever played, but also one of the best. GOTY for sure!

Credits rolled on Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Took down all the bosses and finished all of the missions except one Rainbow mission which was just stupidly hard. I completely cleared about half of the zones, but that got tiresome halfway through.

I realllllly dug this game though. The gameplay just clicked with me. I get why some people didn’t like it as there were far too many “fail instantly” missions and the story was virtually non-existent, and each zone was just more of the same. But the sneaking, scouting with the drone, and syncing taking down bad guys with my squad just never got old for me.

I already own the newest one, but I’ll need to take a long break before I dive into it.

Spent the past week working through Chicory: A Colorful Tale and it was definitely worth the price of admission.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/nQhcWEd.jpg)

It’s an exploration game with some interesting powers, side quests, and dealing with the legacy of things. Also: Emotions, and friendship. The gameplay was fun, but about halfway through it starts getting into the thick of it, and I adored it all.

Nice quality of life aspects: there are options to skip boss battles (I skipped most except the final one), no fighting outside boss battles, and the ability to adjust how much hp you have (from one hit to godmode).

If you’ve got the time and the desire to play it, then I highly recommend it.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/SbNw06z.jpg)

Here’s a pic of my main character, Treats, hanging out at home with his dad, after the credits rolled.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/lvxaZoL.jpg)

Just finished The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 2. Enjoyed the first one and enjoyed this one as well.
There was a lot of extra stuff involved with enhancements, essences, runes, enchantments etc but I got through the game with just a few essences added so the rest felt unneccessary. There is multi player so that may be why but for single player it wasn't at all necessary.
Shorter than the first and there were a few points where I got overran and just kept respawning which felt like a bit of a cheat.

I forgot, but about 3 weeks ago I finished Resident Evil: HD Remaster. Got caught up in the all they hype around Village, but since I've never played a Resident Evil game before, I stubbornly started with the first one. Went in about as blind as a gamer can be at this point, since I've never owned a Playstation until recently, and never even saw one of the RE movies.

Naively, I thought this might have some kind of over the shoulder perspective, but... nope. The camera angles and control scheme were definitely the worst part of the game for me. I was fighting it more than the enemies. Luckily I had the foresight to change to easy difficulty shortly after starting. Inventory management was a close second in terms of problems I had with the game.

I didn't mind the save system so much- being able to save only in safe locations is a good way to generate tension.

The graphics were decent for its age. The setting and atmosphere were quite good and probably the highlight for me. The map system was actually pretty helpful, and if that was present in the original version, I'm very impressed. The plot and characters didn't leave much of an impression. Bad, but I've seen worse.

Awhile ago, I got the idea of starting on page one of this thread and going through the games people finished, at least where it was still possible for me to play them. The very first game was Gears of War; I've never owned an Xbox, but when I thought up the idea I was already a gamepass subscriber, and Gears of War Ultimate Edition was there ready to give me some semblance of the 2006 experience. None of the people I typically game with wanted to play, and my with tendency to have to suddenly leave games playing with people I don't already know really well is something I tend to avoid, because I don't want to be the annoying person who randomly bails. So I played through the campaign solo. It was fun, though clearly would have been better co-op. (I took a break of a few months after act II of the game, and reinstalled a few days ago to continue my newest game-finishing plan).

Next up is Rainbow Six: Vegas, which I was surprised to see I already own on steam and had played 93 minutes previously. I don't remember doing that at all.

Viva Pinata is coming up soon, and while it looks like in theory I could play that on PC, it seems like a lot of work. So a few days ago I hit up ebay for my very first Xbox and the game. That will be some change of pace after GoW and Rainbow Six.

That’s such a cool idea!

Animaniacs (Genesis)

Yet another awesome 16-bit platformer from Konami. I really loved how this game took advantage of the Animaniaics license to its fullest extent. You can switch between the three Warners on the fly like in DKC and they each have unique abilities needed to solve the puzzle-ish levels. You have to put Mindy in danger for Buttons to chase after her opening up a path, Pinky and The Brain are partaking in their separate "take over the world" plots in the levels, and Ralph is constantly chasing after you and serves as a recurring boss fight. The final boss fight is The Brain's robot suit that requires the abilities of all three Warners to take down. Very fun game.

There's also a SNES version also from Konami, but from what I've read the game is completely different. I'm looking forward to giving that one a shot too.

Sekiro. You finally did it, From Software, you hooked me. Now I too am one of those insufferable internet people going on about how it's tough-but-fair and how in control I feel after finally mastering each boss's moveset and so on.

Agathos wrote:

Sekiro. You finally did it, From Software, you hooked me. Now I too am one of those insufferable internet people going on about how it's tough-but-fair and how in control I feel after finally mastering each boss's moveset and so on.

Gratz. I hope one day, at least in some small part, to emulate your accomplishment.

(It’s on the list to play on the PS5 I don’t yet have.)

Rainbow Six: Vegas from the very first post by Certis is now completed. The solo campaign on 'normal' anyway. I don't see myself going back to play realistic mode.

I typically despise checkpoint save games, but with a few exceptions, the checkpoints were really well done here. Usually if I went down, it was because I had made a mistake prior to the actual point of death, so I wanted to go back a bit anyway. And they were usually in just the right place where I wanted to restart. The few exceptions were particularly tough, but I eventually pulled through. Finishing two games in one month? The end times must be near.

Just watched credits roll on Solasta: Crown of the Magister, and prior to that I wrung every ounce of gameplay I could out of it. I finished all of the side quests before hitting the point of no return. The story and voice acting are definitely second-rate, but the D&D 5e rules implementation is near-flawless, and that was more than enough to carry me through. I'm really hoping they release some more DLC, and finish rounding out the class roster. I would love to do another run with a bard and warlock in my party, for example.