Finished Any Games Lately?

To be brutally honest: The only reason I finished The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is because I was away from home with only my DSi XL and nothing else to play. Otherwise I would have given up on it long before I got to the end. If Nintendo was to revisit that game, I think it could be something great though!

I have two major problems with this game:

1. Stylus controls. I get that Nintendo wanted to showcase all the features of the DS in a Zelda game, but I found it annoying as heck. (I will say, though, that stylus controls were great for one thing: using Bom-chus. That's it.)
2. The stupid dungeon I had to go through multiple times, on a timer, throughout the game. Yes, there is a shortcut at some point, but it came way too late for me to alleviate the issue.

I still had fun going through the game's various dungeons and puzzles. It looked OK (it is a DS game). I played most of the game with the sound off, so I can't say much about the music, other than what I heard was pretty bland.

I'm still glad I played it. Due to the platform it was made for, I get the impression that this is a Zelda game that will get lost to time (along with Spirit Tracks). This is unfortunate. With a few tweaks, this game could really be a great, short Zelda game! As it is now though, I have no desire to ever play it again.

I rolled credits on Crackdown 3. Played via Gamepass mostly on PC and... it's Crackdown 1 and 2 in a prettier engine and a couple of new things but not enough to make it memorable for me.

Normally I would try to do a full completion and find all the races, collectibles, stuff, but the wingsuit is painfully awkward and terrible and I love myself too much to put me through that.

On to Man Eater.

I finished Submerged: Hidden Depths, by Uppercut Games, the sequel to a game I've never played called Submerged (makes sense). In Hidden Depths, you control two siblings sailing on a boat around a sunken city exploring the ruined and overgrown buildings while collecting a variety of things and solving light, light traversal puzzles (basically figuring out how to get from A to B, which is usually obvious). There is no combat, you can't fall while you climb so you can't die, and there is no stress --perhaps why the Steam store labels it a "relaxploration adventure," an unfortunate but descriptive portmanteau. And it really is chill and relaxing, and I really enjoyed it. You just move around, discover lookouts to reveal objects on the map (or use your trusty telescope to do the same), and work on healing the sunken ruins by trying to get rid of this mysterious black plant that seems to be encroaching over everything (that is part of the story of the game, so I won't reveal anything here). At about 5 hours, Submerged: Hidden Depths is a short game, but it is a fun time, and it looks gorgeous, so if you just want to sail around climbing buildings and collecting things, you should check it out.

That was pretty much my experience with the first Submerged as well!

Rezzy wrote:

I rolled credits on Crackdown 3. Played via Gamepass mostly on PC and... it's Crackdown 1 and 2 in a prettier engine and a couple of new things but not enough to make it memorable for me.

Normally I would try to do a full completion and find all the races, collectibles, stuff, but the wingsuit is painfully awkward and terrible and I love myself too much to put me through that.

On to Man Eater.

Funny I just started Crackdown 1 myself and am really enjoying it.

Rezzy wrote:

On to Man Eater.

Have fun. It's great!

bobbywatson wrote:

That was pretty much my experience with the first Submerged as well!

Huh. Apparently I bought Submerged a while ago and never tried it. Based on the description, I should rectify that - it sounds like it's exactly my kind of unwinding game.

Evan E wrote:
bobbywatson wrote:

That was pretty much my experience with the first Submerged as well!

Huh. Apparently I bought Submerged a while ago and never tried it. Based on the description, I should rectify that - it sounds like it's exactly my kind of unwinding game.

Let us know how you like it! For other people that might be interested, the first Submerged is on sale right now for $1.99 at the PS store for PS Plus members. I haven't played that one, but it sounds like a good deal to me.

Finally, after many years and multiple restarts, I rolled the credits on Uncharted: Golden Abyss on my Vita.

Goonch wrote:

Finally, after many years and multiple restarts, I rolled the credits on Uncharted: Golden Abyss on my Vita.

I loved that game so much! Loved the gyro controls and the story. There was a really fun post-mortem analysis on gamasutra about that game. I recommend reading it. They really used a lot of what they learned in The Last of Us.

It's now been ages since I first played it, it seems the reputation of Golden Abyss is pretty poor these days, but I thought it was perfectly fine for a portable version of one of those games at the time. If anything, the limitations of the Vita helped things because it meant none of those "looks basically like a cinematic but you insta-fail and have to play again if you don't predict what the developers want you to do even if it seems unintuitive" scenes that always slightly brings down the official Uncharted games.

I remember liking it quite a bit as well. Like some other Vita games, I don't think I was the biggest fan of back-touch mechanics. But other than that it was a solid Uncharted game.

I remember it being immediately forgettable, but a fun little romp of what the Vita could have been if Sony had supported that beautiful console like they had done with the PSP.

Yeah, I regularly hear people badmouthing Golden Abyss, but I thought it was great. I'd actually rate it above Uncharted 3, which I think is a real slog, even though Abyss is actually longer; I found Uncharted 3 wore out its welcome long before it wrapped up. Golden Abyss has a nice variety of activities that I think breaks up the gameplay well. People complain about the things involving backtouch and the camera as being gimmicky, but I enjoyed them.

I finished Pyre, by Supergiant Games. While I thought everyone talked waaaaay too much and I would have loved a skip button, the matches were super fun and I had a great time with the game. The way you have to level up all your party members and not just your favorites is very smart, and that led me to use some characters I didn't much care for at the beginning (like Pamitha) and ended up liking quite a bit. All in all, a very enjoyable experience.

Vrikk wrote:

I remember it being immediately forgettable, but a fun little romp of what the Vita could have been if Sony had supported that beautiful console like they had done with the PSP.

It's a shame the way that Sony abandoned the Vita...some much potential. I was very impressed with what Bend Studio were able to accomplish technically with the Uncharted game. In my eyes it is a mobile handheld gem.

Finished off 13 Sentinels yesterday. I enjoyed the story and the Japanese voice acting but didn’t care for the combat bits at all.

Finished the campaign of Hitman (2016) last night. I don't normally get along with "make your own fun" kind of games but this one was well enough constructed to win over a recalcitrant like me. The key for me was to follow the mission stories, little breadcrumb trails that lead you to interesting possibilities within each level, but usually stop short of a complete solution. Once the ice was broken I could then freestyle a bit more, or just finish it off quickly depending on how much I enjoyed the setting. Speaking of which, I enjoyed how different each location was, although some I remember more fondly than others (Paris and Sapienza my faves).

I liked it enough that I have Hitman 2 loaded and ready to go tonight! Got to find out what's the story with baby 47

Rolled credits on Man Eater with 100% completion. A little disappointed that the DLC isn't included with GamePass, but I'm also okay being done. I had my shark level maxed out way too early, but that's how I roll.

Got all the Cheevos on Creeper World 4. I'm proud!

Rezzy wrote:

Rolled credits on Man Eater with 100% completion. A little disappointed that the DLC isn't included with GamePass, but I'm also okay being done. I had my shark level maxed out way too early, but that's how I roll.

Yeah! I just loved that stupid game when it came out and completely finished it on PC.

Finished Fantasy Life yesterday, or the main game, at least. There is some DLC that I have yet to get through, but the game's story, as such, has been completed.

Spoiler:

I found it interesting, or rather surprising, that what seemed like the build-up to the final dungeon and confrontation with a final boss was actually a tidbit of story and wholesome banter between what may or may not be a divinity. This was unexpected, but not unwelcome. I imagine this may have have been a bigger shock to those who purchased the game around launch and the DLC wasn't around, in a similar sense as Fallout 3'a DLC that overrode the basic ending. Anticlimactic, if the DLC was not there, but with the DLC, well, it sits quite nicely.

Very well enjoyed. Recommended, in general. Lots of busy-work, but all adorably cute and very rewarding in a very basic sense.

ComfortZone wrote:

Finished the campaign of Hitman (2016) last night. I don't normally get along with "make your own fun" kind of games but this one was well enough constructed to win over a recalcitrant like me.

Yeah, as someone who likes linear narrative games, it took a long time for me to embrace the Hitman series. It would make me feel much less like the brilliant professional killer it seemed to be wanting me to be, and instead made me feel like a playtester. Clearly I wasn't the only one because they tried - and failed - to fix this feeling with Absolution.

Once you break from that mindset and go more into it accepting you are a Hitman who also has a groundhog day secret power, the enjoyment from the game opens up immensely. I now get like a rush of endorphins playing through a tense level and trying to pull it off perfectly, sometimes getting that satisfaction of calmly getting to the exit of a level just as the A.I. has figured out that the target is dead.

Finished Norco. I was of two minds whether to pick this one up. On one hand, a pixel art point-and-click adventure is exactly what I don't feel like playing nowadays. On the other hand, it kept getting compared to Disco Elysium and many other great games. Happily, there's a demo available, so I decided to give it a try anyway.

As soon as I saw the art style and heard the music I was sold. I was kind of expecting a retro homage to the classic Sierra or Lucas Arts games, but this is something completely different. A weird, moody work of art with shades of David Lynch and the first season of True Detective.

I finished it in about 5 hours, and managed to get two different endings. I have a feeling it's possible to get a better one somehow, and there are still a ton of achievements that I haven't unlocked, so I think it might be worth a replay or two.

Credits rolled on Far Cry 6 today. Fun game but got super dark at the end. Had fun but was ready for it to be over.

I beat Doom Eternal. Such a great game. Wish the story was a bit more ham-fisted though, like in Doom 2016. Guess its hard to create a genius-level spark like that twice, but honestly they didn't even try or even acknowledge it in the sequel.

The action is fantastic though. I found it much more difficult than the original until I figured out the whole thing is balanced around your cooldowns, and after that it was a breeze. And I'm not sure how, but every fight felt frantic and fun unlike the original which quickly started to feel same-y towards the middle of the game.

I'm having a surprising amount of fun playing around with the Xenonauts 2 early access / beta / whatever it is I got for backing it.

Of all the X-COM clones there have been - and continue to be - it remains the game that is closest by far to the Gallop brother's original. It does get a little repetitive after awhile, but to be honest that's a fault most of the XCOM games end up with towards the end of a campaign. This version offers a lot of QoL improvements over the first game (like being able to rotate the camera!), and a very droll sense of humour about how it tells its story.

It's still quite buggy, a lot of placeholders are still - well, placeholding - and research seems to take a very long time as you can only research one thing at a time (I assume this will change with release. I certainly hope so!) but all in all it's pretty good. The air combat though - I never cracked this in the original game and always ended up just auto-resolving (which is a very good option to have) and, well, I'm doing the same here.

Looking forward to the full release but Goldhawk have been working on this since about 2015 I think, so it might be a while just yet.

jamos5 wrote:

I beat Doom Eternal. Such a great game. Wish the story was a bit more ham-fisted though, like in Doom 2016. Guess its hard to create a genius-level spark like that twice, but honestly they didn't even try or even acknowledge it in the sequel.

The action is fantastic though. I found it much more difficult than the original until I figured out the whole thing is balanced around your cooldowns, and after that it was a breeze. And I'm not sure how, but every fight felt frantic and fun unlike the original which quickly started to feel same-y towards the middle of the game.

I both love and hate the story in Doom Eternal.

On one hand, it's fun to actually get some backstory, and lo and behold the demons fear the Doomslayer since he is THEIR devil. He's the one they actually tell bedtime stories about so the little toddler demons don't stay up too late or act out.

On the other hand, I really didn't need the rest of the story about the capital city and all that crap. No thank you. Just give me enough of why the Doomslayer seems to return again and again, and then let me murder thousands of Hellspawn until my controller batteries die.

Vrikk wrote:

I both love and hate the story in Doom Eternal.

On one hand, it's fun to actually get some backstory, and lo and behold the demons fear the Doomslayer since he is THEIR devil. He's the one they actually tell bedtime stories about so the little toddler demons don't stay up too late or act out.

On the other hand, I really didn't need the rest of the story about the capital city and all that crap. No thank you. Just give me enough of why the Doomslayer seems to return again and again, and then let me murder thousands of Hellspawn until my controller batteries die.

I did appreciate how they found ways to recontextualize concepts around heaven and hell into the Doom mythos, but it was a little too heady for its own good. I really just wanted the meta storyline from the first game,

Spoiler:

where Doom guy just ignores all the context and kicks a hole into everyone's plans because he doesn't care about all that stuff, just like how the player doesn't really care what the story is in a Doom game.

But in Eternal they made the Doom guy play by the story's rules, and forced him to fit into a context and back story and make all that extra stuff important, which really diminished the power fantasy and also the no-nonsense character they built up for him from the first game.

Anyway just a missed opportunity, but I hope they lean back into that ironic humor a bit more going forward.

I'm calling Pushy and Pully in Blockland done even though I am stuck on the final boss. However, I have tried so many times that I stopped having fun a while ago and it's actually tarnishing what otherwise was a super fun experience, so why do that to myself and the game?

Pushy and Pully is a puzzle/action game in which you have to make it through 5 worlds, 10 levels per world, one screen per level, in the tradition of great arcade games I have always loved like Pang! or Snow Bros. The concept is very simple: push blocks to get rid of enemies, and don't let them catch you or you die. You have a limited amount of time to finish each level (there are a few exceptions), but an unlimited number of continues, so making progress is not very difficult... until you get stuck on the final boss.

The graphics are retro pixel art which, I must confess, I only like for old games that couldn't do any better back in the day but that I find hard to stomach in modern releases, but that's my bias and I just have to deal with it. That said, the style works for this game because it's a throwback to games like Bubble Bobble or Bomberman... but I wish it looked different. And sometimes the graphics get in the way of the action, because judging the depth of field can get tricky and I died many times when I thought I was safe because I was on the wrong square. Or maybe I'm a dummy. (Actually, both things could be true.)

All in all, I thought Pushy and Pully was a fun, short game, and it only cost me a few bucks, so I count it as a win. I can see it being even more fun with two players, so if you have a friend and like this kind of game, check it out for sure.