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Video Games Finished in 2020


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Small little update.  Beat the first Castlevania on the Castlevania Collection for the Switch.  Working on both II & III on and off right now alongside Resident Evil 4.  I also beat Doom 3 a few days ago on the Switch which was a blast.  Still blows my mind that a game that most computers couldn’t run worth a fuck back in 2004 runs very well on a handheld all these years later.   

 

C: 22

H: 8

O  30

Edited by Irondog666
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10/14- Metroid: Zero Mission for Wii U 

 

 

The Metroid series has been iconic in the horror genre since the 1980s, for better or for worse. The original game introduced the world to some of the scariest of enemies, including the infamous Metroids, parasitic aliens that suck the life force of any other life form it makes contact with. It's been over thirty years since Metroid came around, and since it was the time to be scared when I played it, I wonder how the remake of the original, Metroid: Zero Mission, holds up. I have barely any nostalgia with Metroid, and the only game that I played and eventually gave up on was Metroid Prime, so how does this remake hold up? 

Metroid: Zero Mission stars Samus, a galactic bounty hunter, whose orders are to prevent the Space Pirates from releasing the terror of the Metroids all over the universe. The whole mission takes place in Zebes, and it's Samus' job to eliminate the dangerous threats. And, that's pretty much all. The game has a clear goal, and there's no unnecessary surprises and twists. But, the game has a bit of lore with the Chozos, a now extinct race of humanoid birds, who once took care of Samus in her youth. Yes, I'm heading straight into the biggest shock: Samus is a woman. The twist in the original game's ending doesn't have the same impact as it used to, but Samus being a woman was a game-changer in video game history. 

Even though the remake was on the Game Boy Advance, the art designs holds up really well, and it smoothly updates the old design of the original. Every character looks simple and rarely untouched. Zebes is also very distinct with its sub-worlds. The game also features cutscenes straight from a comic book, and they are animated well. With that said, the updated soundtrack might not be as iconic as the original music. But, it still fits the unwelcoming vibe of Zebes, and there are new songs to boot. 

Metroid: Zero Mission takes a lot of mechanics and weapons from Super Metroid (and also apparently Metroid Fusion), like the famous Screw Attack, and for the most part, they work well. That does not mean platforming is one of Zero Mission's strongest suits. Samus has some of the strangest air range thanks to the two jumps she can do, and I got visibly upset when she didn't land on a platform precisely. Then again, a good amount of the platforms in these games are maybe too high at times and too short in length. It's a phrase I like to call Crash Bandicoot Syndrome: sure, veterans might get used to the air control after time, but I'm not one of them. Also, knockback in a 2004 remake. WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHY?! But, my problem with Samus' jumping aside, Samus can destroy enemies in seconds. Her beams, missiles and, to a lesser extent, her bombs are very powerful tools. Most enemies can do down easily with just the beam and morph ball bombs at first, while others that have higher defense and shields require upgrades and missiles. If one thing Metroid always did well was the exploration and discovery, although it was a lot smoother since Super Metroid. Zero Mission has maps and Chozo Statues that can map the next destination of where Samus needs to go. But, even though it might seem daunting at first, Samus always has the means to progress through the game. Still, that doesn't mean some of the secrets are probably too hidden for my liking. I had to look at an online video walkthrough a few times. 

The bosses in this game were really well planned... except for maybe Mother Brain and Meta-Ridley. There's constantly a barrage of attacks for both, and with Mother Brain, there's only two platforms over a pit of lava. With knockback and Samus' jump, Mother Brain was a chore to defeat. Plus, both have very few windows of taking damage. The one I had a joy to defeat was Kraid, but that's because the monster is insanely huge compared to most bosses of that generation! To my surprise, the Metroids look bigger than I imagined them, but maybe that's taking Super Metroid into account. 

But, as one might have noticed, Meta-Ridley wasn't in the original game. A new location and two new suit for Samus opens up after the evacuation of Zebes. Samus lost her Varia Suit and its powers, and has to traverse a new place featuring new enemies. But, the situation is harder, as Samus' Zero Suit takes more damage, and she can only stun enemies for a brief time. It's basically Metroid Gear Samus! After some time playing hide and seek, and a fair and challenging boss fight, Samus acquires the Gravity Suit and later Power Bombs. After the fight with Meta-Ridley, another countdown begins. Thankfully, countdowns in video games are always fair.  

The game has a few rewards for certain completion and speedrun aspects, but since I think Castlevania: Symphony of The Night handles its completion rewards better, I'll stick with just finishing this game. Beating it in any percentage unlocks the OG Metroid. As much as the original is a classic, it hasn't aged well, and I'm not a fan of some NES games. But, Metroid: Zero Mission surprised me how shorter and less scary I thought it was going to be. I guess playing Resident Evil games kinds of removes that factor after a little while. Still, the series helped pioneer the horror genre, and I'm glad I played the remake of the first game. Here's hoping Metroid: Samus Returns keeps my interest. If not, Super Metroid it is!

 

 

10/16- Super Metroid for Nintendo Switch 

 

Metroid: Zero Mission, despite my complaints about the controls, is still a superb game. Because of certain reasons, I jumped from the remake of the first game to Super Metroid: one of the best games of its generation. (I plan on defeating Metroid: Samus Returns eventually.) So, knowing the controls were nearly the same as Zero Mission, how did I enjoy my wild ride in Super Metroid? 

Super Metroid takes place after the events of Zero Mission and Samus Returns. Samus defeated the Space Pirates on her old home planet, and nearly destroyed all Metroid life forms on their planet. Samus allowed a baby Metroid to live, and gave it to the Galactic Researches for them to study. However, soon after she leaves, a distress call comes from the Galactic Research ship. It is attacked by the Space Pirates, and when Samus arrives where the baby Metroid was, she is suddenly attacked by Ridley. They battle, but an imminent explosion of the ship begins to happen. Ridley flies with the baby Metroid, and Samus gets back on her own ship. Samus follows Ridley back to Zebes, back to the beginning. She once again has to stop the Space Pirates and rescue the Metroid from its predicament. After that intro, the story doesn't continue until the very end, where the biggest of surprises happen. Super Metroid has a much grander ending, and I love how insane it gets. 

Super Metroid is a very atmospheric yet colorful game. The various life forms and locations of Zebes burst with wonderful detail. Super Metroid also has some of the best visual effects and Mode 7 greatly enhances the experience. And, I think the locations this time are a lot more vibrant than Zero Mission. And, although the music doesn't get as much notice as other games', it is spectacular to hear. Some songs are booming with the bass, while others go for a much softer tone.  

Super Metroid introduces a lot of attacks and movement options that would become iconic in the series, such as the famous Screw Attack. Now, although there's also moves Super Metroid teaches with these adorable aliens that seemingly came from nowhere, my complaints from Zero Mission still happened. Samus' midair movement is still too odd for my liking, and there are still those stupid short platforms. Also, knockback. But, since it was 1994 when Super Metroid came out, I'll be a bit more lenient on my hatred of it. Now that I think about it, Super Metroid has some of the best upgrades in video gaming. Still, even though the series is known for its exploration and discovery, Super Metroid might seem too large in scope. The jump from old Zebes to new Zebes was incredibly stress-inducing. It doesn't help that I think Zero Mission had the better map layout, and there are barely any hints. I needed some walkthroughs again. But, this and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night were responsible for the exploration of a gigantic building and world which featured many collectibles, later coined "Metroidvanias". Super Metroid's impact and importance cannot be ignored. 

 Super Metroid has more and better boss fights which pushes Mode 7 to its limits. Ridley's fight is a lot better, even though the battle still takes place in a confined space over acid. Mother Brain Part 1 is still as annoying as Zero Mission's, but the real joy is in Parts 2 & 3. If Part 1 didn't exist or was improved with its barrage of attacks, Mother Brain would rank higher as a final boss. But, it has one of the best moments in any video game. Super Metroid might not have been as perfect as I wanted it to be, but I think it's genuinely better than Zero Mission. And, 2D and psuedo-2D exploration had been more integral since it was released.

 

  10/27- Hollow Knight for Nintendo Switch 

 

 



 

As I was waiting to play Metroid: Samus Returns, there were a few indie games I wanted to get invested in that catered the Metroidvania fanbase. Hollow Knight is probably the best talking point people bring up nowadays, so I got it and played it. For most of my near 50 hour playthrough, I really enjoyed the game. But, after I defeated it, how was my joy as the credits rolled? 

 

Hollow Knight stars a cute bug thing with a helmet, cloak, and a knife called a nail. He drops into the Hallownest Kingdom, more specifically Dirtmouth. When he arrives, only an elder greets him, as most of the other inhabitants are minding their own business elsewhere. With nothing else to do, it's time to explore. The knight fights off enemy after enemy, explores the world and finds many things that expand the lore of the kingdom, and runs into a weird cast of characters. One of the NPCs even challenges the knight for the test to see if he's ready for what's to come. And even though a few look dangerous and creepy, they'll help you, like the charms lady worm or whatever, or an odd grasshopper thing that sells useless charms. But, the knight eventually learns about this infection, and these once heroic beings named Dreamers that sealed away an evil being named Hollow Knight. By either some action of the knight or the seal being broken little by little, the knight must now defeat the Dreamers and stop Hollow Knight from corrupting the world again. But, even though the knight is to prevent all of this, he's not a good person as well. Sometimes because I needed an item, I had to kill what I think would be otherwise harmless creatures and ghosts. And, because of an upgraded item, I could read their minds as well. In fact, not all of the NPCs are good people. There's this Zote guy who say's he's amazing, but he gets captured twice, and in an optional arena, the knight can fight him. He's pitiful. There's a giant bug thing that wants to eat the knight, because nothing around it is particularly edible. Oh, and the Old Stag is adorable. He's trying to find his home, but the rest of his kind have disappeared, and the whole world is too big to find out where it is. With the help of the knight, he eventually does, but learns the HARD TRUTH.  

 

The game is gorgeous. A lot went into the game's areas, from the forest in the west to the crystal caves in the east. Even though the color scheme is heavily muted, Hallownest is full of various locations that breathe life. Still, the world is perhaps too large, and there are a lot of places that can be overlooked because of how the foreground and background looks in certain areas. And, when enemies are in the mix, expect some cheap shots at times. It doesn't helped that some secret paths can be unconventional found by the noise of rubble. Still, for the most part, Hollow Knight doesn't gate places with upgrades. Again, for the most part. This is a Metroidvania. And, most of the enemies are bugs. Even spiders. And bees. Okay, because some of the sound effects were like really strong, like the noise of the bee enemies, I muted the game sometimes. And that's sad, because the soundtrack is amazing, even if during suspenseful moments, it's really ambient. But, nothing makes more nervous than Shade because of his theme. Forgot his attacks, Shade is creepy.             

 

Unlike Metroid and more like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the knight gets one close-ranged weapon: the nail. Its range is pathetic, and Hollow Knight can rebound from enemies when attacking with it. He can also absorb SOUL by hitting enemies to recharge his health or use spells. I often chose the former, since Hollow Knight has low HP in the beginning, and some bosses and enemies are jerks sometimes. Later, he receives other abilities that use SOUL, finds and buys charms to help his way through, finds items to increase his health and soul meters and amount of charms he can use, and upgrades his sword and finds nail techniques. Like Metroid. But, some bosses are no pushovers, even though most of the bosses are fair in pattern recognition. But, this game does have moments, even with is platforming, where I swear the wrong thing happens at times. Though, the gratification of beating something in this game is justified, because those bosses and obstacle courses can be so hard at times. Looking at you, Queen's Garden's horrible vine thing. I hated it more than the optional White Palace. Oh, thanks to an item, the knight can also fight dream bosses and boss variants that reward essences. The higher the number, the better the prize. The same goes for a few other NPCs too. There's an old worm caterpillar looking for its children, and one by one, the knight frees the captured guys. Though, a few turn out to be mimics. Ew. Also, exploration can be a bit of a pain, since the knight needs to buy a map first, and find new places for them to show up on the map. And, unless he equips a charm, finding his location on a map of Hollow Knight's scale can be overwhelmingly confusing.  

 

I beat the game. Loved fighting Hollow Knight. He's the best. Fair patterns and I've beaten him a lot... I would say a different tune for THE RADIANCE if she didn't have too much, like quick and large attacks that cause two bars, teleportation, different phases, and was properly mentioned. And, beating her is lame. Hollow Knight and the knight die in both endings from self-sacrifice, but an NPC I didn't really like lives. Still, I got 94%, so that's something. There's DLC too, like Grimm's Troupe. If there's anything like some of the fast bosses I've faced, then no thanks. Hollow Knight is a great game, even though some parts of it are a bit too challenging to Metroidvania newcomes.

         

Edited by Link, the Hero of Dreams
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Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan 

Shadow of the Colossus 

Castlevania

Golden Sun

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country 

Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand

Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django

 

Castlevania Rondo of Blood (Maria run) – Still my favorite Castlevania. Maria is cheese.

 

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition – Xenoblade is the most inspiring game I've ever played, and I enjoyed it as much on the Switch as I did years ago on the Wii. Though its story is told with a level of organicism and maturity that its direct sequel doesn't quite reach, it definitely shows that the sequels built on its combat, and going back to the original battle mechanics takes some getting used to. But I think I understood its mechanics better on the second run, and I started enjoying it on a level I hadn't before. As for the new material, the game looks great, and though the original soundtrack can never be truly replaced in my mind, the redone tracks had some truly jaw-dropping moments. And of course, one of the major draws for me was:

 

Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected – This was a neat addition to the base game, though I kind of expected something more akin to Torna. I thought it was a fantastic way to allow us all to explore the cut content from the original, but beyond the new map and new music I found it to be a shallower experience than the base game. It's bonus content, so fair enough, I guess. However, the original game ended on such a high note that I can't help but be slightly put off by the by-the-numbers nature of the additional story. As I reflect on my time on the Bionis' Shoulder, the most exciting thing about Future Connected is the promises it teases. Particularly in the final Heart to Heart between Shulk and Melia in ruined Alcamoth. Melia hints at a premonition of unspeakable doom, which is just vague enough to mean absolutely anything Takahashi wants it to. Contrary to my belief that the rift would bridge Xenoblade 1 and 2, the true nature of the Fog King and the rift was never revealed, adding to my frustration. A part of me hopes it means the inevitable Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will be a direct sequel to Xenoblade 1, taking place in the reborn world of Bionis. Though I wouldn't want to undercut the ending of Xenoblade 1. Whatever form Xenoblade 3 eventually takes, I am certain it will be some sort of stealth-sequel in the vein of Xenoblade 2, where its continuity is not apparent until two thirds of the way through the game. It's fun to speculate. Thoughts, anyone? 

 

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Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations: Holy crap, this one is light years better than Justice for All. JfA is probably why I didn't pick up TaT until several years later. Having much more entertaining and likeable characters goes a long way. I'm not sure if I'll continue on to play Apollo later, it depends on how I feel.

Currently trying to finish SMT4 Apocalypse before the end of the year. I think I'm on good pace... I'm at 2/8 moon, and I tend to find myself playing for 2-3 hours in a day when I get the chance. This game is making me want to replay SMT4. I thought the game was good, but not great. I feel like my tastes have changed in recent years to appreciate it's approach, however.

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Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan 

Shadow of the Colossus 

Castlevania

Golden Sun

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country 

Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand

Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood 

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition 

Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected

 

Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade -  For how long I waited to play it, I may as well have experienced the time skip between Blazing Blade and Binding Blade in real time. Despite having some of my favorite characters in the series, it's not one of my favorite entries broadly speaking. Fire Emblem has progressed far enough in quality-of-life improvements in the intervening years that Binding Blade's age is beginning to show, and the story didn't carry the nuance that Blazing Blade did all those years ago. Still, I'm glad to have at last finished the story of the Scouring, and I'm very much anticipating an Echoes-style remake of the two games. 

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- Hades (Switch)
I wasn't sure about this game when Supergiant announced it'd be a roguelike, but leave it to those developers to make one that is so perfectly addictive. This isn't really my genre but I'm having a blast every time I make a run through the underworld. Highly recommend checking it out even if roguelikes aren't your thing, it's that good.
 
- Blazing Chrome (Switch)
A very faithful recreation of Contra gameplay, for better and for worse. At least it has checkpoints after some bosses but I still would have preferred a few more modern updates.
 
- Ministry of Broadcast (Switch)
Points for originality, though I found myself frustrated by the controls and platformer mechanics a bit too often.
 
- Return of the Obra Dinn (Switch)
Really cool mystery/puzzle game where you try to figure out what happened to 60 people that disappeared aboard a ship in the 19th century. Such a unique gameplay mechanic and really rewarding when you figure stuff out, I definitely recommend this.
 
- Bloodroots (Switch)
Wanted to like this more than I did. The fast-paced kills and art style are fun but a spotty frame rate and collision detection bring down the experience.
 

Console: 105

Overall: 105

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