Summer Pile, Had Me a Blast - Pile of Shame July 2020

13+ years of Pile of Shame threads... I know it's been a long time when I start using Grease lyrics as thread titles.

Bottom of the barrel for me. No offense if you like Grease. I'm not a musical guy, so that alone says a lot.

Some housekeeping notes.

If you're interested, m0nk3yboy, has the 12 month 2020 pile plan thread over here.

A quick reminder, in order to be considered "Pile of Shame" the game needs to be at least three months old. Otherwise, it's just a new game you haven't gotten to playing yet.

Also, if you are curious about some of the previous threads, Picks of the Pile, etc... Please go here and check out the spreadsheet I setup.

Let's get on to the games!

This month's Pick of the Pile is

Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE


IMAGE(https://assets1.ignimgs.com/2016/06/28/tokyomiragesessionfe1280jpg-6aafaa_400w.jpg)
"Taking place in modern-day Tokyo and featuring real-life locations such as Shibuya and Harajuku, the game centres around hostile beings known as Mirages who seek to harvest energy known as Performa from humans and are responsible for several disappearances. The story follows a group of teenagers who become allied with friendly Mirages, based on characters from the Fire Emblem series, and merge with them to become Mirage Masters. Under the guise of the Fortuna Entertainment talent agency, the Mirage Masters fight to protect innocent people from the Mirages and find out who is behind the attacks." (Wikipedia)

Multi-Platform
Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion - brokenclavicle
Afterparty - Eleima
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair - Forlorn Hope
Divinity: Original Sin II - brokenclavicle
Doom 64 - AUs_TBirD
Dungeon of the Endless - Stele
Everspace - Stele
Ittle Dew - brokenclavicle
Lair of the Clockwork God - Eleima
Life is Strange 2 - Eleima
Moons of Madness - brokenclavicle
Observation - [i]Hemi[/b]
Shadow of the Tomb Raider - bobbywatson
Spyro the Dragon Reignited: Year of the Dragon - brokenclavicle
Steamworld Quest - Stele
The Walking Dead - Eleima
The Walking Dead: The Final Season - AUs_TBirD
We ♥ Katamari - AUs_TBirD

PC

PS4
Infamous: Second Son - brokenclavicle
The Last of Us: Remastered - Forlorn Hope

Xbox One

Nintendo Switch
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE - Malkroth
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - Stele

Nintendo 3DS
Bravely Second - Malkroth

Nintendo Wii
The Last Story - AUs_TBirD

After not really completing anything significant in June (other than replays of some older games), it's time for me to get more ambitious! In July, the plan is to complete the two games I purchased in the current Steam sale:

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PC/multi)
  • Cuphead (PC/multi)

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is almost 100% certain to be completed, but Cuphead is a different beast. I've been making steady progress over the past week, but I don't know if it will hold my interest until the end.

Well, since I did so well last month with four picks, and seeing as I have vacations (staycations) during quarantine, I think I'll aim a bit higher here:

Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion (Multi)
Ittle Dew (Multi)
Moons of Madness (Multi)
Divinity: Original Sin II (Multi)
Spyro the Dragon Reignited: Year of the Dragon (Multi)
Infamous: Second Son (PS4)

Most of the picks are low-to-mid completion times, while Divinity is very much high, but I'm well beyond the middle of the game and feel confident that it will be done next week during my staycations.

Feeling good about this month, gamewise!

2020 has been really something so I haven't really been participating in these threads lately but I think I'll try this month. I'll declare..

The Last of Us: Remastered (PS4)
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (Steam/Multi)

I’m carrying over Lair of the Clockwork God (PC) and declaring Afterparty (multi), as well as Life Is Strange 2 (multi) and The Walking Dead (multi).

I’ve got this!

Carrying over:
The Last Story (Wii) - made a bit more progress last night and am now 2 hours in. Some of the dialog is ...painfully bad though. The movement is odd as well - or maybe it's the camera; I haven't quite figured it out yet. At any rate, I keep running into people on the city streets as I weave left to right and back again like a drunkard.

Also declaring:
Doom 64 (PC/multi) - by the time the credits roll, it will have been 3 months since I bought it. Halfway through already, but haven't touched it in about 6 weeks.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season (PC/multi) - time to put TWD down for good.
We ♥ Katamari (PS2/multi) - I've been working on this off and on for a few weeks now. As far as I can tell, I'm about 60% done.

Hope to also work on:
Psychonauts - pile pledge from earlier this year. Gotta finish before the sequel drops. I already cut it close with The Last of Us last month.
Throne of Darkness - a few hours in. I play it sporadically when I can't muster up the energy for other things.
Mass Effect 2 - picked up my 4 year old save again recently and put in a few more hours.
Wasteland 2 for the CRPG club.

At least I finished something in June.

Carrying over Steamworld Quest (Switch, multi) and just 1.5 chapters left. Surely this weekend it will be done.

Hey, look at that, I finished Afterparty last night! It took a turn, with all the SPOILERS, but it was a great ride. Definitely recommend it.

Just finished Divinity: Original Sin II. Good times were had.

Finished DooM64. While it was nice to revisit a DooM game of that era, it's definitely my least favorite of the bunch (DooM, DooM II, Final DooM, DooM64).

As others have mentioned, the game is FAR more puzzle-like than its brethren. There are heavy action sequences interspersed, but you actually spend lots of time running back and forth through the level, trying to find the switch or key that will transform a small or large part(s) of the level. The transforming stages is a pretty neat effect, but having to run around a level for 15 minutes looking for one semi-hidden switch on the back of a random pillar to trigger this is not always worth it.

The makeover of some enemies takes some getting used to, but for the most part they look okay. It just feels like something is lost by the transition from pixely pinky demon to blurry Silicon Graphics render; perhaps that's just nostalgia talking though. The new weapon, discovered halfway through the game, is very overpowered, but also fun to use.

When I finally finished the original trilogy, I used a mod that allowed slight vertical mouse look (+/- 20 degrees). I absolutely miss that here. I also cannot fathom how anybody finished this with the Nintendo64 controller and without save-scumming. Not only are there numerous instant-kill traps and pitfalls with no way out, but the action can at times be intense. ....and the final boss required me to quicksave/-load like I rarely have before. Its attacks amount to instant kills, and they never let up, so I spent the battle hiding behind a large switch, praying that none of the homing fireballs makes it around, popping out from behind cover to shoot a BFG blast at the enemy, and jumping back behind cover within 2 seconds before I got killed. Then saved... Repeat another 10+ times.

It was worth a playthrough, but I uninstalled right after the credits, even though I found none of the secret levels or secret keys (that apparently make the final battle easier if you get all 3).

Done with Spyro: Year of the Dragon. It was a lore more fun than Ripto's Rage, and even though it has a 100 Dragon Egg requirement just to make it to the final boss (really not a fan of those collectathon minimum requirements), it was simple enough to get there.

2 down and... 3 to go for the month.

Well, didn't manage to complete Bravely Second (3DS) last month so I will be carrying that over to this month. I picked up Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (Switch) last month and think I getting near the end, so I will be declaring that game this month as I also work on the JRPG club game of Trails of Cold Steel 2 (which will definitely not complete this month).

Cross off The Last of Us: Remastered for me. I still distinctly remembered the ending from playing the ps3 game way back when but it still got to me.

I wrapped up The Walking Dead aaand its DLC 400 Days, so I should get extra credit!

I actually finished something!

Sound the alarms!!!

Observation is done. Saw it on Game Pass and gave it a go. Finished it in an afternoon. I really liked it. No spoilers, but it's got a 2001 meets Event Horizon kind of vibe.

Everspace (PC, multi) is finished, technically.

For a roguelike hard to say done. But I beat the main game once, after 16 runs and at least that many hours. I may play more but it's officially beat I think.

And down goes Steamworld Quest. That took longer than expected. But the last 2 chapters are just 6 boss fights. And the last one was a bit of a drag with 3 long phases.

The last boss on the next to last chapter ran me out of revive items and killed 2 of my 3 heroes with like 1k health left on him. So I luckily took him out with the remaining hero or I'd have had to redo a maybe half hour fight. Whew.

Really fun game overall. My only real complaint is the usual one in party RPGs with XP. They give you 5 heroes and you can only use 3. The 2 you don't use don't get XP when not in battle, even though they're there in story scenes and stuff. So I either rotate everyone in, get unbalanced team, maybe end up under-leveled and have to grind... Or I just stick with the main 3.

Heck I all but abandoned Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 for that.

Finished:
We ♥ Katamari
Katamari is great, we ♥ it so. Gameplay aged? No no, matured like fine wine say we. Fanstastic the king's wit, but tragic his story. Tragic, but made him strong. So strong.

Prince will be strong too. Makes Katamari but so lazy. Could always do so much more. We will make him strong. Humans will make him strong too. Never satisfied, but suitably fawning about our greatness.

You're giving us post-credits challenges? We are so pleased. We shall put them up into the sky. The name? We have already decided, there is no other option.

Happiness Saturn, 693.27 m, 7h47m23s

Progress:
The Walking Dead: The Final Season - two of four episodes done. Really liking the changes that were made and the story is very good as well. The new visual style is impressive. Couple little inconsistencies with the cut scenes, but nothing game breaking. Looking forward to more.
The Last Story - not much progress. I walked around the city for a while doing fetch quests and running away from soldiers during fireworks.

Also worked on:
Throne of Darkness - not sure how far I am, but all characters are leveled into the mid teens except for the wizard, who is still level 2. It's not for lack of trying to get him xp... Game is pretty tedious tbh, and I can see why I jumped to other things so quickly in 2001.
Wasteland 2 - well, I created a party and got through the opening dialog.[/quote]

Ittle Dew is done. Took me a good 3 hours and change to make it to the end, and I'm sure there was plenty I didn't find, solve, or explore.

The final boss fight reminds me of Dragon Quest Slime sans conveyor belts hahaha. Man, they really should re-re-release that game but for modern consoles!

Infamous: Second Son is done, and with that, I have finished all games in the series. The game was alright. Pretty fun, but clearly very close to its PS3 predecessors... First Light, I think, was a bit better. I wonder if Sucker Punch will ever revisit the series, though the ending to this would indicate everything goes on with hope, so that's nice. No apparent loose ends for a change in a videogame, eh?

Wrapped up Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore today. A really good SMT style game using Fire Emblem characters and plot set in a modern day Tokyo idol wrapper. The combat was very satisfying in that Persona/SMT way and the characters were interesting and funny for the most part. If you like SMT or Persona I would recommend giving it a try.

I'm going to drop Cuphead. It's just too hard for me. I liked what I played, but I can't beat that dragon, so that's going to be the end of the adventure for me.

Dungeon of the Endless (PC, Multi) is down!

Hey I won a game. That's a win. Yeah there's more ships to unlock and characters to find. I might play some more. But winning once felt pretty good finally.

3 pile games in a month. Probably haven't done that since before I discovered Rocket League. Now that I quit, look at me, enjoying games again.

I've also been playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on Switch again. Probably won't finish in the next 5 days, but I was about 3/4 of the way through it already. Probably will carry over to Aug but might actually finish if I keep this momentum.

Moons of Madness has been vanquished. Both endings - which only took restarting from the last checkpoint - have been attained and that was a satisfactory short romp through Mars.

Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion is down. Had fun with it, though the gameplay is rather bland. Wouldn't recommend it unless you're a big fan of the show, and even then expect some jank and glitching. I've never had a PS4 game crash on me so much.

EDIT: I just realized that I managed to beat all 6 games I picked for the month! And with a handful of days left! This bears celebrating! How? Dunno, but... Celebration!

Completed The Walking Dead: The Final Season a few days ago and thought it was, for the most part, really, really good.
The new art style was suitably bleak, the writing and casting generally very good (at least one major plot point was majorly telegraphed and a few very minor things happened out of logical sequence), and I was tense during all the times when you were expected to be on edge. I let myself get carried away by my emotions and made some choices in the game that I would not expect to make in real life....but at the same time, can I really rule out that I wouldn't, given the right circumstances? I quickly noticed that there was some minor experimentation happening with the old Telltale formula, and I liked the direction it was going. Too bad that the company went bust, but perhaps The Wolf Among Us 2 by the re-formed Telltale will further the evolution started here.

Certainly enjoyed the references to previous seasons, even if I didn't pick up on some of them until reading discussions of the series.

While I've enjoyed all of The Walking Dead seasons a great deal, The Final Season is probably one of the strongest, and a fitting end to all of it.

-----

Regarding my pledge to finish The Last Story - yeah...not happening. Barely touched it. Made good progress in the aforementioned Throne of Darkness and the unmentioned Uncharted 4 though, so there's that.

And Bravely Second has been finished on the last day of the month. Been sitting on the game with less than 4 hours left to play the entire month. It is really hard for me to complete portable games these days since I rarely have time I can play that I don't have access to a console or PC instead. Glad I played it though and looking forward to Bravely Default 2!

Just wrapped up Life Is Strange 2. It did not live up to my expectations.

Stele wrote:

I've also been playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on Switch again. Probably won't finish in the next 5 days, but I was about 3/4 of the way through it already. Probably will carry over to Aug but might actually finish if I keep this momentum.

Definitely still carrying over. 2 chapters and a lot of sidequests left to go. But about to pass the 100 hour mark and looks like a lot of fun.