Finished Any Games Lately?

I kept it quiet!!! But I finished The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awekening on the Switch. What a good game. Made me remember my good old childhood days I never had the chance to play it back in teh day... glad I did

Black Book

I named this my #9 game of the year back in December. I finished it at the end of June. What took so long?

It's pretty long. I expected a relatively short indie game, so I was surprised, two chapters in, when I noticed I had already logged 15 hours. So I took my first break. I spent a lot of time reading about Komi-Permian folklore in the game's encyclopedia, and it was a bit discouraging to pick it up again and discover I'd forgotten half the details (the game likes to quiz you). I finished at just over 40 hours.

And the fights can take a while. Start a fight with a build that is completely negated by this boss's abilities, and you will die quickly, adjust your build, and take revenge right away. But start with a build that only kinda-sorta works and you could spend many turns slowly whittling them down. It might be faster at that point to throw the fight and re-bind your book, but there's pride to consider.

Also, there was a moment (still ongoing, really) when I became decidedly less interested in learning about Russian culture. Even if I get the sense that 19th-century rural Perm is pretty far from Moscow, culturally speaking.

Still, I enjoyed it. The story is strong, Vasilisa is a great heroine, and they create some stunning spectacles even with an indie-sized art budget. And the music! Most importantly, I now know what to do if a leshy is leading me astray in the woods.

Mass Effect 3

The trilogy is done! This one falls somewhere between the first and the second for me, which I gather is the conventional wisdom. There was more strong storytelling, but the anthology approach that worked so well in 2 feels a little awkward here, considering there's a full-scale war raging the whole time. And there's so much self-referential humor, I had to stop and roll my eyes a few times. I gather most, but not all of that comes from the Citadel DLC, which was the trilogy blowing kisses at the audience on its way off the stage. Actually, it was kind of fun as I played to try to guess what quests were DLC and what was in the base game. (Javik??? He carries so many scenes!) I really like the detective work in Leviathan but it was pretty obviously DLC, hanging a little awkwardly around the central plot.

Now I'm having fun reading about all the Controversy around this game when it first came out. (Seriously, they charged extra for Javik??)

I’ve been meaning to replay Final Fantasy VII since they announced the remake. Now that’s they’ve announced part two, I finally went through the original. I played the PS4 release from 2015 with trophies. I ended up using the included cheats a bunch but it was fun to go through the story again and see some of the optimal endgame content that I never saw.

I finished Celeste last night.

This was the second game I finished from the PS+ Extra tier. I'm not usually a side scrolling platformer kind of guy, especially the "brutal indie 2D" subgenre, but I was in the mood for a challenge, and had always heard good things about it. Seeing it on PS+ for "free" was the final straw to get me to try it.

I enjoyed it enough to finish, of course. The story was sweet, and I liked the mostly-bite-sized challenges of each particular room. It became pretty clear that there is a loop of first determining what you need to do, followed by properly executing.

There were a few maddening parts, such as the "boss fight" at the end of chapter 3. Didn't like that sequence at all. But overall it was a fun time. I have no desire to go back and grab collectibles or unlock the DLC chapter. I'm glad I gave it a shot.

I wrapped up the Hitman (2016)...man what a game. But it also begs the question: For folks that have played those games, there is an insane amount of stuff to do. I kind of did what I wanted on each map and then moved on to the next. I went back and did some others as I wanted. Do people actually knock out each objective and challenge? I am positive some do, but it just seems like it would take an insane amount of time--and I have other games to play.

LastSurprise wrote:

Yesterday and this morning, I rolled credits on a pair of games.

Yesterday: Super Mario Odyssey, which I bought during the recent Switch sale. It was AMAZING. Loved all of the worlds, the tight movement, the way the game rewarded exploration. Each of the worlds was dense with so many great ideas and challenges, and the pacing was spot on -- you'd do a bit in each world, then get rushed to the next, but you can also spend as much time as you want in each and luxuriate in the settings. I can truly see why it got the accolades that it did.

I let this one pass me by, but you sold me on it. $40 at Target sounded fair to me, so great timing.

Garth wrote:

I wrapped up the Hitman (2016)...man what a game. But it also begs the question: For folks that have played those games, there is an insane amount of stuff to do. I kind of did what I wanted on each map and then moved on to the next. I went back and did some others as I wanted. Do people actually knock out each objective and challenge? I am positive some do, but it just seems like it would take an insane amount of time--and I have other games to play.

Just finished Hitman 3 myself. I actually do make an attempt to complete all the challenges, but it's pretty hard to get all of them. Some are straight up bugged, others in the original game got broken when they updated the engine for the second and third installments. I just moved on when I felt like I'd made a good faith effort to get them.

Once you get to know a level well it doesn't take long to grab all the challenges, maybe an hour or two. Plus there are a lot of excellent YouTube videos explaining how to get the more difficult ones if you get stuck. The exceptions are the sniper assassin and silent assassin, suit only challenges, which require a bit of planning, but I found it quite satisfying to leave those until last and pull them off as a kind of final test that I'd learned the level inside and out.

jontra wrote:

Just finished Hitman 3 myself. I actually do make an attempt to complete all the challenges, but it's pretty hard to get all of them. Some are straight up bugged, others in the original game got broken when they updated the engine for the second and third installments. I just moved on when I felt like I'd made a good faith effort to get them.

Once you get to know a level well it doesn't take long to grab all the challenges, maybe an hour or two. Plus there are a lot of excellent YouTube videos explaining how to get the more difficult ones if you get stuck. The exceptions are the sniper assassin and silent assassin, suit only challenges, which require a bit of planning, but I found it quite satisfying to leave those until last and pull them off as a kind of final test that I'd learned the level inside and out.

Thats a good way of approaching it. And yeah, that is pretty close to what I am doing. Once I get the Mastery level on each stage, I feel like I'm okay to move on. And you are right, they start getting knocked out pretty quick once you have your bearings. The Hospital level still has me completely confused though.

I am beyond impressed with what some of these speed runners have managed to do with the game. I would never even consider using my time like that...but it is something else.

After 35+ hours, I finished 2019's AI: The Somnium Files. This visual novel has a good mystery, great characters, and some light puzzle solving. I played a few hours each night for a few weeks, and it was like watching a good season of anime. I picked it up on sale on a lark, and I really enjoyed it.

The sequel came out a few weeks ago and I'm starting that up soon.

This morning, I finished Yakuza: Like a Dragon. This is an easy contender for my game of the year.

This is my very first Yakuza game, and I went into it not knowing much, besides: they made this game into a JRPG, and a lot of people seemed to like it. It got very, very good reviews. I was not expecting the game to totally hook me the way that it did, or for it to be the robust package that it was. As my wife succinctly put it, repeatedly, while watching me play this game: "This game is way better than it needs to be.

There's so much to love, and I'd encourage anyone to play it. Love mob movies or TV shows? Love stories about about government corruption? The plot of Like a Dragon is, essentially, several seasons of a prestige TV series, with tight scripting and voice work, and a health dose of soap opera melodrama mixed in. It's the story of an honor culture that's terribly violent, but sometimes serves to protect those marginalized by society, and that is increasingly becoming outdated in the modern world. This is a game that treats homeless people, sex workers, and non-citizens as major characters who are presented thoughtfully, as 360-degree characters, with major roles in the story. It's also, like any good mob story, a story of family.

Love geeks and dorks? Ichiban Kasuga, the game's protagonist, is both: a guy who lives by the honor code even when all those around him fail at it, a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, who would do anything for his friends, and who explicitly sees his life as a video game. Hitting rock bottom, he envisions himself as a level 1, tenderfoot Dragon Quest protagonist. In battle, game's crazy costumes, character designs, and attacks, are basically presented as Ichi's imagination run riot, and his friends just go with it to humor him.

Love a strong sense of place? Ijincho, a fictional city in Yokohama, is the setting for most of the game. It has a strong sense of place and by the end, you really feel -- as Ichi does -- that this is your city, which you know intimately. That's only strengthened by the the next thing you might love ...

Love minigames? Wow, does this game have them -- and they're all really tight. You can go-kart around Ijincho like you're playing Mario Kart, you can manage a business, visit batting cages and driving ranges, play Mahjong, visit casinos, collect cans in a surprisingly successful, 3-D translation of Pac-Man, watch movies with your buddies and play whack-a-mole against sleepy sheet (REM Rams!) to stay awake, take your buddies to play darts, and all sorts of other random things. Many of the game's excellent side quests play into these mini games, especially the management mode where you can recruit a number of minor characters you'll meet to your thriving business empire.

And finally, love wackiness? There's so much slapstick, so much over-the-top animation, and you get to fight construction equipment. This game has so much to offer.

I finished replaying Uncharted 4 this weekend! First time since the game originally came out, and I played the spruced up PS5 edition that recently came out. It's an incredible beautiful game. The faces in particular look even more detailed in this version, but that's the only thing that stood out to me in terms of a graphical upgrade. After playing for a while at 4K/30fps, I changed it to 60fps mode, and it was a beautiful experience. It helped with the combat as well, since aiming was smoother. The combat remains a large upgrade over the previous three games, but it's still only serviceable.

I even took the time to go back and grab all the collectables I missed, something I hadn't bothered to do my first playthrough. Since I was pretty thorough my first time through, it wasn't too difficult to grab what remained with the help of a guide. Putting the difficulty down to Explorer mode basically made me invincible in combat, so it was easy to breeze through the encounters on my way to the next shiny.

If you have a PS5 and missed out on Uncharted 4 on PS4, this is still a no-brainer purchase for the system, and it includes The Lost Legacy, the standalone expansion featuring Chloe from Uncharted 2 and 3.

LastSurprise wrote:

This morning, I finished Yakuza: Like a Dragon. This is an easy contender for my game of the year.

This is my very first Yakuza game, and I went into it not knowing much, besides: they made this game into a JRPG, and a lot of people seemed to like it. It got very, very good reviews. I was not expecting the game to totally hook me the way that it did, or for it to be the robust package that it was. As my wife succinctly put it, repeatedly, while watching me play this game: "This game is way better than it needs to be.

There's so much to love, and I'd encourage anyone to play it. Love mob movies or TV shows? Love stories about about government corruption? The plot of Like a Dragon is, essentially, several seasons of a prestige TV series, with tight scripting and voice work, and a health dose of soap opera melodrama mixed in. It's the story of an honor culture that's terribly violent, but sometimes serves to protect those marginalized by society, and that is increasingly becoming outdated in the modern world. This is a game that treats homeless people, sex workers, and non-citizens as major characters who are presented thoughtfully, as 360-degree characters, with major roles in the story. It's also, like any good mob story, a story of family.

Love geeks and dorks? Ichiban Kasuga, the game's protagonist, is both: a guy who lives by the honor code even when all those around him fail at it, a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, who would do anything for his friends, and who explicitly sees his life as a video game. Hitting rock bottom, he envisions himself as a level 1, tenderfoot Dragon Quest protagonist. In battle, game's crazy costumes, character designs, and attacks, are basically presented as Ichi's imagination run riot, and his friends just go with it to humor him.

Love a strong sense of place? Ijincho, a fictional city in Yokohama, is the setting for most of the game. It has a strong sense of place and by the end, you really feel -- as Ichi does -- that this is your city, which you know intimately. That's only strengthened by the the next thing you might love ...

Love minigames? Wow, does this game have them -- and they're all really tight. You can go-kart around Ijincho like you're playing Mario Kart, you can manage a business, visit batting cages and driving ranges, play Mahjong, visit casinos, collect cans in a surprisingly successful, 3-D translation of Pac-Man, watch movies with your buddies and play whack-a-mole against sleepy sheet (REM Rams!) to stay awake, take your buddies to play darts, and all sorts of other random things. Many of the game's excellent side quests play into these mini games, especially the management mode where you can recruit a number of minor characters you'll meet to your thriving business empire.

And finally, love wackiness? There's so much slapstick, so much over-the-top animation, and you get to fight construction equipment. This game has so much to offer.

You and your suggestions!
Now I have to go take a look

I finished Stray yesterday, and had a wonderful time with it. I thought it was going to be a platformer, but it quickly transformed into a point-and-click adventure game and then a stealth game with some action bits thrown in here and there. It was an interesting mix of genres that kept me engaged throughout the seven hours and change it took me to see the game through. (Reviews say five hours, but it always takes me longer than average to complete games.) Being a cat and thinking like a cat in terms of verticality was fun, and being able to scratch rugs and walls, rubbing against people's legs, and meowing on command was a delight. A very fun experience I definitely recommend!

I also just finished Stray and I echo Mario_Alba's thoughts.

I just finished off Binary Domain. I felt like playing some sort of shooting thing and for some reason I keep seeing comments about how this was massively overlooked, is a hidden gem etc, so it fit the bill. It definitely scratched that itch. Your enemies are robots, so you can do things like shoot off their arms so they can't hold their gun, or shoot their head so they'll shoot aimlessly at other enemies. Was always satisfying watching the destruction.

There's also another fairly unique mechanic where you need to build trust with your teammates. You do this by performing well and by conversation choices. If you build enough trust, they'll follow your orders more. Trouble is, your ability to order them is pretty limited, so it's not particularly useful. The other thing that was a bit annoying about that system, is that for a pretty large chunk of the game you're locked in with two particular characters, meaning that you can only build trust with those two. You have no idea that this is going to happen until it does, so if you don't make the right choices about companions in the early parts of the game, you'll lose out on getting the best ending.

Interestingly, there's voice recognition for the conversation choices, but it didn't work well for me.

Story was a bit generic, but it did have a few little changes to an otherwise fairly standard template. It's definitely a game of its era though.

Overall though, I really enjoyed it - shooting was solid, really well paced and stayed engaging right to the end. Definitely worth the $3 AUD I paid for it!

beanman101283 wrote:
ComfortZone wrote:

Nice! I'm thinking about playing this next since it's on PS+. Would you recommend GotG for someone with no clue about Marvel or the MCU movies?

Yeah, it establishes its own world building pretty well. I’ve only seen the movie, have no familiarity with the comics, and it’s definitely doing its own thing.

Circling back to this, I finished the Guardians of the Galaxy campaign last night, and yes, there's a lot to love here even for someone with no Marvel background. I guess someone who knows who Thanos is, or that golden chap, or Nova Force, would get more out of the story, but even so I enjoyed the characters and their journey as they were presented in the game. It made me realise how much I miss linear single player focused AAA games. There is something about the pacing and spectacle that you just don't get with open worlds or more service oriented games.

I finally played Firewatch and confirmed, while I was mostly interested in what was happening (until just before the end) these sorts of games are just not for me. Glad it was on Game Pass to help me confirm my suspicions. It's definitely really pretty and well put together and executed for what it is and I can appreciate that part of it.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

Finally!

Finished Stray the other night. It's a gorgeous game, and it runs buttery-smooth on the PS5 (with the exception of exactly one second of stutter that I ran across), but boy does it make me seem like more of a "Dogs rule, cats drool!" person than I actually am. I didn't get the enjoyment I look for from platforming games, I found the writing alternated between overly twee and ham-handedly obvious, and I absolutely hated the combat and run-from-combat sections. Later on in the game there are some stealth sections that I enjoyed, and predictably I've seen a number of people complaining that those parts were terrible. What can I say? I like stealth, and think every game can be improved by removing combat.

On the other hand, it was effectively free with the PS+ membership that I haven't canceled yet, so I don't really regret playing it.

Just rolled the credits on my replay of The Last of Us, the remastered PS4 release. It is still a masterpiece in my eyes. Loved it even more the second time around.

Finished The Signal State. A programming based puzzle game heavily influenced by Zachtronics' games. The gimmick is that you're doing everything with analogue signal processing modules, which is a cool twist. The developers clearly had a tight budget, because the game is a little unpolished and buggy, but it definitely scratches that Zachtronics itch quite nicely.

The Nonary Games, Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (or whatever the eff it's called)

I guess I finished this. There are six possible endings, and I got three of them. I'm not inclined to do the others. More on that in a sec.

So, Zero Escape is a game in the mold of AI: The Somnium Files (by the same developer) and Danganronpa (same publisher): basically a visual novel that incorporates gameplay elements. In the case of Zero Escape, these are escape-room puzzles; the story has the protagonist kidnapped with a bunch of other zany randoms and placed on a replica of the Titanic, from which they have nine hours to find their way out or be killed by the maniacal antagonist (or each other).

I really enjoyed The Somnium Files, and Zero Escape has much of the same DNA. It's a twisty-turny story that was intriguing and engaging, and the escape rooms were (generally speaking) fairly simple, yet challenging enough to make me feel accomplished when I figured them out.

As stated, though, I didn't bother with all the endings. The way these games work, you always get the bad endings to begin with and then have to go back to earlier parts of the story to make different choices to unlock new paths and alternative endings. Eventually, you get to the "true" ending. Somnium Files did the same thing, but also made it a lot more obvious what had to be done to unlock the different paths. With Zero Escape, I felt I was being asked to forensically analyze scenes and conversations to figure out how to move forward in a new direction, and... well, I liked the game, but I was more than happy to wrap it up and Google what I had missed when it started to seem like a repetitious chore.

I played this on Game Pass, which also has the second game of the series, Virtue's Last Reward. Maybe I'll try that at some point, too. Maybe.

The Nonary Games trilogy remains one of my favorites. I replayed all three games last year with my (adult) daughter, who had never seen it before. Definitely some bonkers stuff in there. I can't quite tell from your statements though - even if you didn't play through the true endings on your own, I hope you at least got to watch them via Youtube, because that stuff will absolutely be relevant in the next two games. If not, there are some good walkthroughs that will tell you exactly what steps to take in order to see those endings; that's what I ended up doing, and have no regrets.

I'm nearly finished with 100%ing (or as close as I'm going to get) to Assassin's Creed: Odyssey.

This game is magnificent in so many ways. I've already been thinking about how I'm going to write it up here without turning into Homer. In short, the best open-world game I've played since The Witcher 3. More to come

merphle wrote:

I can't quite tell from your statements though - even if you didn't play through the true endings on your own, I hope you at least got to watch them via Youtube, because that stuff will absolutely be relevant in the next two games.

Yes, thank you! I looked up a text narrative of the true ending, so I know what it is. But I do intend to watch a YouTube of it, too, as I was sufficiently interested to see how the game itself tells the story.

Tasty Pudding wrote:
merphle wrote:

I can't quite tell from your statements though - even if you didn't play through the true endings on your own, I hope you at least got to watch them via Youtube, because that stuff will absolutely be relevant in the next two games.

Yes, thank you! I looked up a text narrative of the true ending, so I know what it is. But I do intend to watch a YouTube of it, too, as I was sufficiently interested to see how the game itself tells the story.

999 on the original Nintendo DS release did something particularly neat in the final stretch of the penultimate ending, too - something that I think had to be patched out or adjusted in some way when ported to other platforms.

Spoiler:

It's been a while, but from what I remember the DS had to be flipped upside down in your hands for a specific segment (i.e. the touch-screen surface was above the display-only screen), and this was to somehow represent that you, the gamer, were not the one in control? Memory is fuzzy, but it was a pretty striking story point.

Evan E wrote:

Finished Stray the other night. It's a gorgeous game, and it runs buttery-smooth on the PS5 (with the exception of exactly one second of stutter that I ran across), but boy does it make me seem like more of a "Dogs rule, cats drool!" person than I actually am. I didn't get the enjoyment I look for from platforming games, I found the writing alternated between overly twee and ham-handedly obvious, and I absolutely hated the combat and run-from-combat sections. Later on in the game there are some stealth sections that I enjoyed, and predictably I've seen a number of people complaining that those parts were terrible. What can I say? I like stealth, and think every game can be improved by removing combat.

On the other hand, it was effectively free with the PS+ membership that I haven't canceled yet, so I don't really regret playing it.

I also finished Stray over the weekend. Like you I preferred the stealth to the combat sections, but one thing that stood out to me was how sparing they were with both. For each of them, just as I had had enough, the section ended. I always end up using food analogies for games but it really was a finely judged meal

Anyway, overall I really enjoyed it. I think it's mostly interested in what it would be like to inhabit a cat, and it nails that aspect. It's almost creepy to be a human brain inside a cat's body and confined to cat actions, but reasoning and relating to events like a human. Even the stealth and combat were designed around being a cat. I'm not a cat person either but it was a feeling I don't get with other games starring animals. Also the art and music in this game create this beautiful, soothing, somehow hopeful post-human-apocalypse world that is just a pleasure to be a feral animal in.

Finished Tunic, and what a great game with the solutions to all the puzzles built into the game / in game manual you collect, except for the final (not required) puzzle, which I think went too far in what it asks of the player. The puzzles up to the end were great, and discovering the solutions was fantastically rewarding in a way that I did not think would happen. I expected to bounce off this one hard and got quite the opposite experience. This should land as one of my top 5 games of the year. As a bonus I was able to play it with the kids watching, which I hope instilled some sense of perseverance to figure things out.

Watched credits roll on The Last Stop. What a strange game.

Rolled credits on Power Wash Simulator.
What? I needed a Zen game.
Via GamePass and my Spouse and I have been letting the world burn while playing through a lot of the levels in CoOp mode.

Quality of Life tip we discovered inadvertently after a few hours: if you select an item in the tablet it will be highlighted in the world. Great for tracking down that last little bit of invisible filth