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Video Games Finished in 2021


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4 minutes ago, blcdude1 said:

When it comes to what counts and what doesn't, we've accepted demos before, we've counted epilogues before (Future Connected in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definite Edition), we've counted different routes within the same game (Fire Emblem: Three Houses), and I have no issue counting a game within a game (within reason) or something like Bowser's Fury as its own thing. 

 

This is, in my opinion, about your backlog. If it's a game you're playing that you're looking to finish, I'd willing to count it. I tend to be lenient when it comes to counting out. 

 

As an aside regarding Bowser's Fury, I'm fine with it being recorded as its own individual beat or as a bundle with 3D World. Whatever makes your list easier to manage for you. 

Gotta get those numbers up!

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St. Patrick's Day: Spyro: Year Of The Dragon for PS5. 

 

First, I felt like cheating, by just completing the game from save data I beat the Reignited version from three years ago. But, because of an accidental save corruption, I had to play the entire game again. Maybe it was karma telling me to do this the old just way. This was my third tango with Spyro 3 in my life; and even though it was more of a speed through than just playing the game normally, that did not detract of what I loved about this game. But, I became aware of some problems I hated to admit. Bentley the Yeti is really slow, the range of one of the power-ups is pitiful, and the camera can be a pain at times. Still, THIS TIME, not only did I beat the game, I finally completed it. I finally took on the Super Bonus Round and all it had. That's including a rematch with The Sorceress. I never really did that until now. About 20 years later. It's so weird to say I completed one of my favorite games on the original PlayStation on the most recent hardware. 

 

(And I'm not bluffing. I can show the TV and PS5 together to prove this.) 

 

March 27: Final Fantasy VII Remake for PS5. 

 

Spoiler

 

I enjoyed the original Final Fantasy VII. After 13 years later... the long awaited remake came to be. But, the remake covers only the city of Midgar... with later installments coming later. So, how did I like it, as a fan of most of the series so far? 

 

Final Fantasy VII Remake, like I said, covers only the city of Midgar, from the opening to the bike chase. A lot has changed, though. A bunch of new side quests and new characters appear in the game. A bunch of new explorable places have opened up. New beats were added to flesh out the story, and a good amount of characters in the original, like Biggs and Wedge, got a lot more screen-time and personality. But, that's not the biggest surprise. These shadowy creatures, known as Whispers, make sure that the events of the original game aren't screwed up. The game goes on a clever meta-narrative of freedom and destiny, and the ending of this game ends on a shocking cliffhanger. The Whispers are defeated, Biggs has woken up in a bed, and Zack Fair, the one true SOLDIER who sacrificed himself to save Cloud in Crisis Core (the prequel to the original game)... is ALIVE?! What will happen now that the original course of events can be ignored?! How will Cait Sith, Yuffie, Vincent, and Cid Highwind appear in the later games?! Only time will tell. Although the game's story is interesting, there were some chapters that dragged on a bit TOO long, or were surprisingly slow. The ghost train-yard seemed like a cool throwback to the phantom train from VI, but... that chapter is IMMEDIATELY followed by the destruction of Sector 7's plate.  

 

On a visual inspection, the characters and locations all look very detailed. Midgar's new and old residents and locations look very amazing. Although, Sephiroth's face looks somewhat off. And, some pop-in and some odd visual glitches happened from time to time. Plus, the lighting is too bright or dark at times. The voice acting and delivery for every character is spot-on. Aerith's swear was unexpected though. As for the music... W.O.W.

 

The gameplay... Oh boy. First off, combat is real-time instead of the usual time-based mechanics the IV-IX games were known for. There's an attack button, but filling up the tried and true ATB bar allows each character to use an ability, spell, or item. Limit breaks are back, but as for summons... they're usually allowed when bosses show up. The material system also returns, but is downgraded to simplify this game. Characters can switch characters on the fly, and all of them are fun to play as. Such as, when it comes to flying enemies, Barret can easily defeat them all. But, this game excludes Red XIII from being playable, because he comes way too late. He's an NPC this time around. Still, he does have good moments. Aerith attacks with magic stuff instead of whacking enemies with her poles. The only problem is that the camera sometimes wants to focus on different enemies from time to time. That's annoying.  

 

What else is annoying? Pressing Triangle to move around to do seemingly intrusive actions. Seriously, opening a door shouldn't be tedious.  

 

The game has a handful of side-quests and a lot of mini-games. Since I know that Gold Saucer is the reigning champ of mini-games of all time, I'll pass on doing mini-games this time around.  

 

Last, there is a character that analysis materia so he can create new materia. Even though he's a researcher for Shinra, he says he's on Avalanche's side.

  

My verdict? ... I dunno. I love Final Fantasy VII. This remake baffles me. For good and bad.  

 

 

4/3: Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D for 3DS  

Spoiler

 

The Donkey Kong Country series has been a weird "what-if" in my life. Except for the second game in the series, I've never really touched any of the Donkey Kong games. Then, a return to form, known as the title above, came out in 2010, eleven years ago. I thought Country 2 was mediocre or whatever because of some archaic design choices, so I thought Returns would be slightly easier. ... Right? 

 

Okay, so a new group of enemies from the Tiki Tak Tribe arrive to cause havoc and brainwash most of the animals on Donkey Kong's island. However, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are immune to the brainwashing, and set out to stop the new bad guys. The plot is basic, but it's still good. Because the Kremlings were created by a Rare developer, and because Rare was, and still is, owned by Microsoft, the people at Retro Studios had to make new enemies from scratch. And even though this is the only time the Tikis are seen in the series, they do pose as a threat, and have cameos in other non-Donkey Kong games. I do hate fighting some of the bosses though because of camera angles and hit-box detection. 

 

Even though the version I played was the 3D version, the game looks very beautiful. There are some parts in the game which utilize contrasting colors and darkness to a great effect and makes some platforming excitingly challenging. This game also uses the foregrounds and backgrounds, similar to Kirby Triple Deluxe. Still, there are some moments with the camera that I could do without during some boss fights, the running segments, and the autoscrolling segments. As for the music... the game does a tremendous job remixing the older classic music, and also has some great new pieces. The mine cart music heard in the Smash Bros. series is a good example of that. 

 

Donkey Kong still has his ground pound, his jump, and throw. But, now he can also roll, climb, and blow. And, he has three heart points. Diddy Kong is only available with the barrels, and he comes with his jetpack and and three more hearts. When those hearts are gone, he is temporarily unplayable until Donkey Kong destroys another barrel. The player can't switch between either like in the old games. Rambi and mine carts are back, along with new rocket barrel segments. I really hate those segments, only because of it's hard to know what will come next in a stressful situation and when it's a precise platformer. And it's not like the normal controls and normal platforming gets a pass either at times. Ground pounding, rolling, and blowing are all the same button; and Donkey Kong only rolls when the same button and direction are pressed; AND instead of the roll being continuous when the button is held, the player has to press the button over and over again for Donkey Kong to roll. I played the game with a certain button layout, and it required me to press any of the shoulder buttons. It was frankly obnoxious. Oh, and there's a light and normal jump like old-school Mario games, and it's annoying here. This game is a bit challenging and sometimes outright unfair at times. Professor Chops, a pig, is a checkpoint assistant, and also allows the game to play itself if the player thinks any part of the level is too difficult. I think this the first game to do something like that... and, yes, I did do that a few times. Because if the game admits that it doesn't cater to everyone, then if there are some levels I don't like, then I just let it slide. I have other games I want to beat, and I won't let this game take any more of my time with some of its design. Cranky Kong has a shop where the player can buy some items that can help ease that problems. Like the balloons that are basically 1-Ups. But, Donkey Kong needs to collect coins within the levels. But, there are some balloons within the levels, and getting 100 bananas guarantee a 1-Up as well. And those bananas don't go if Donkey Kong loses a life. The bosses are hard, but not impossible. The last boss, however, has one of those segments I can't stand before the player actually fights it.

 

Donkey Kong Country Returns has great visuals and music, a good story, and decent boss fights, but only improved what I thought was decent gameplay and platforming. I didn't care about getting any of the collectibles as before, and I didn't care about any of the post-game stuff as well. I too want it in my Top 100, but this kind of platforming is not for me. 

 

 

Easter- Katamari Damacy Reroll for Nintendo Switch 

 

Spoiler

 

 

I've seen this game played by a few amount of YouTubers as of now, and remember it just because of the main theme itself. I haven't played it... until seventeen years later. I always considered this game a hidden gem of the PS2 era, and I regret not ever giving it a chance until recently. So, I finally got into it on Easter. ... And beat it on Easter. Yeah, I thought the game was going to be longer, but it was one of the shortest experiences I ever had. What's that about?! 

 

A mysterious space man gets so drunk that he destroys the stars and the moon. That jerk is the King of the Cosmos. He sends his son to Earth to collect stuff with his "Katamari", a ball, in order to make the stars and moon again. While this is going on, a woman and her children are off to see the husband go to the moon. But, the moon is destroyed. Even though it is the King's fault, I can't really hate the guy. He's majestic and regal-looking, and speaks in record scratches. 

 

Damacy is cute. From the son, to the creatures that eventually get on his ball, everything is adorable and in 3D. Even the cutscenes are cool to look at. Even though the stages get re-used, different and various obstacles are used each time. The soundtrack is amazing. The main theme will always be remembered for its jazzy style. And, like I said, the King speaks in record scratches. Though, when loading, the King's speech lags for a little bit, and... I just hate the thirty-second warning sound.  

 

The goal is to make the ball bigger. Only a certain amount of things can get on the ball at first, but increasing its circumference allows the ball to absorb more stuff on it. Though, crashing into a wall or a larger object will make pieces fall off. Moving the ball can be awkward, since it's only moveable with the analog sticks. There's the jump and look buttons too, but they were unnecessary. Pressing both analog buttons allow the ball to rotate 180 degrees. Getting onto ledges sometimes can get frustrating at times, and some moving obstacles push the ball farther away than intended. Each star has a certain objective and time limit, but some stars require a certain size, while the constellations need a certain amount of items. The son can also receive gifts which are only cosmetic. 

 

And, besides a music gallery and a theater selection, that's all. I think there's a 2-Player mode, but I didn't feel up to it on Easter. Kamari Damacy Reroll might be short, but getting huge stuff like whales onto it makes me crack up. 

 

  

April 15: Monster Hunter Rise for Nintendo Switch

 

Spoiler

 

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate and World are some of the best games to have come out within the current generation. After they came out, I wondered if any other game in the series would top it. About three years later, a new trailer for Monster Hunter Rise appeared. This time, I wasn't really hyped for it. For one thing, the game was going to be on the Nintendo Switch. As much as I loved Generations Ultimate for the monsters it had, World was gameplay-wise better. I was worried if the series would decline back to some of the wonky mechanics of the past. But, after I got the game, a lot of my worries were gone. 

 

Rise has one of the most interesting premises ever. Rampages of monsters have threatened the town of Kamura for decades, maybe centuries. The town really wants to find the source of the rampages in order for the town to finally have peace. That's where the usual Hunter comes in. But, the rampages themselves are not only for plot purposes. 

 

The game is just outstanding as Monster Hunter World. The characters and monsters are wonderful to look at as always. One of the few problems I have are some of the horizontal planes that most of the locations have. I know that the amount of hills and mountains and whatever are to show of the new gameplay features of the game, but there was probably too much of it. Still, the locations are still as beautiful, so I'm not going to give them a huge downgrade. The music is still one of the best part of the series, although I think there's less individual boss music than before. Speaking of which, I think there might be less bosses this time around, since I fought higher-level versions of some bosses that I fought before. The new bosses still pose some trouble too, but something felt off here. Maybe it's just me. The voice acting is good too, and no one comes close to the delivery of the Tracker from World, even though I found her okay. 

 

Rise takes a lot of cues from Generations Ultimate and World. The crafting, the hunting, the items, the health items, the traps, the capturing, the variety of weapons and armor, the worlds, the stamina and health bars, the status effects, the monsters, the open-world areas, the day and night cycle, the instantaneous gathering, the damage numbers, the offscreen Buddy treasure hunting, the Meownster Hunters, the online hubs, the normal and HR quests, and the training fields are accounted for. But, there's no tracking this time around, so the footprint and clues to find the next monster are gone. To be honest, as long as I'm fighting monsters, I don't care. The first new additions are the Wirebug and Palamutes companions. The Wirebugs are like the Zelda hookshots but can glide a Hunter in any direction and onto most surfaces. The Hunter can also walk on ledges, but jump off if they aren't on a vertical plane within a few seconds. However, a Hunter can use a Wirebug to go to a ledge, can walk on the ledge, and can use the Wirebug again to go farther up. Still, Wirebugs also run on a stamina system too, so they don't break the game. The Palamutes act similarly to Felynes, but the Hunter can ride them. While on them, the Hunter can still climb, collect stuff, and open the item box. They can also jump onto ledges. But, the Hunter can't attack while on the Palamutes and can only walk a few feet higher than the Hunter while walking horizontally. Instead of the usual meals the Monster Hunter series is known for, the cantina now serves these snowman dough things called Dango. They still serve the same purpose, thank gosh. Petacles are temporary stat-boosters when in contact with the new Spiritbirds. Throwing Kunai and new bombs are now available. Players can play a lottery game to get certain items, and can use three amiibo a day to play three more rounds. There's also DLC and add-on content. The turf wars are back, BUUUUUT... Hunters can now ride the boss monsters to hurt themselves or attack nearby monsters. This is a game changer to the series, as it easily makes capturing or hunting monsters more effective. And, the boss monsters fall down after both situations happen. Boss monsters that hurt themselves can only move and attack in a limited manner while temporarily held by these etherial ropes. The advantages of these situations mean more material. Only one Hunter can ride one of the monsters, however. In essence, it's a Kaiju fight.    

 

But, what's very exciting are the rampages. Think of it as tower-defense, but waves of boss monsters try to attack the gates that guard the village. The players have many ballista and cannons at their disposal, but the rest of them can be automated by the usual villagers and some of the key villagers themselves. The defenses can be upgraded too. The key villagers are temporary, so using them sparingly is wise. And, riding the monsters can happen in these missions too. All the Hunters need to do are simply repel the monsters. The rewards are still the same as one normally defeats these boss monsters. The Boss Monsters can destroy the means of defense too; but guarding is an option while on the defense, and the Hunters can make new means of defense after a certain time has passed. Rampages can be chaotic at times, but never impossible. 

 

If there's anything I'm forgetting, that's because this game is massive as its brethren. But, that's because I really enjoyed this game and had fun. 

 

Rise is a hard contender to place beside its prequel. It added some worthwhile things, but sacrificed perhaps sound world design and notable staples of the series. The game is challenging at times, even though the new additions might seem they could break the game. Rise might also be the shortest game out of the whole series to defeat without a huge cast of monsters and the tracking. But, it is fun regardless, and a great game to play.  

 

 

4/18- Ghosts N' Goblins: Ressurected for Nintendo Switch

 

Spoiler

 

I wasn't too sure about buying this game at all. First, it's a remake of one of the most difficult NES games ever. Two, the original had one of the worst swerve endings. So, my thoughts? 

 

Sir Arthur and the Princess are trying to have a nice walk outside, when the castle and everything near it, including this spirit tree, are engulfed in hellfire. I'm not kidding there. The Princess gets stolen, and Arthur has to defeat the baddies. It's a simple plot from an old arcade game, so I won't say the plot is bad.

 

As for the art design, it looks creative and colorful. It has a watercolor-stencil thing going for it. Though, the animations for the characters seem stilted and unnatural, like puppets. The music is atmospheric and daunting. Who doesn't remember the first stage's scary song? 

 

As much as I wanted to try to see if anything was better for gameplay... it's just there. Sir Arthur can hurl and throw weapons up, down, left, and right, and can change the weapons by breaking pots and chests. Most of the items are directional, so I'm not bothering listing them. Sir Arthur can only throw three projectiles at a time on screen. New collectibles that probably are Spirits can be collected to get more skills from the Spirit Tree. I think the only really useful one is the clone one. There are four difficulties. The safer the difficulty, there will be more checkpoints and less enemies. Not sure about the latter. ... At least most of the bosses are just trial and error. I hate the rock dragon boss though.

 

And now for the frustration. Sir Arthur has one of the worst jump arcs ever. Even though the amount of armor Sir Arthur loses depends on the difficulty. Yes, he can gain back the armor, but it's also a bother trying to get it while enemies are everywhere. (He can get the fabled golden armor... which won't last long.) The enemies also respawn from time to time. All of the levels have infuriating design choices. Sir Arthur can't throw diagonally, making some enemies a pain. 

 

Oh, and don't get me started on the ending. Sir Arthur rescues the princess... but the world is still in a horrible mess... AND THERE'S A TRUE FINAL BOSS, AND YOU.... you have to play the game all over again, and I'm... guessing it's more difficult than before... Before... Before... It's like the original game.  

 

If you're a true hardcore gamer who likes insane difficulty, buy this game. Otherwise... unless if you're really curious like I was, don't buy this game. It's hard. Perhaps too hard. 

 

 

Edited by Link, the Hero of Dreams
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- Persona 5 Strikers (Switch)
Ultimately I would've liked a bit more Musou influence rather than being like 90% Persona, 10% Musou, but it was still fun and a good treat for Persona 5 fans.
 
- Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 (Switch)
The mash-up of two puzzle games is still a lot of fun, but I would've liked to see more fresh ideas for this sequel, especially considering the original isn't that old (well, the US release isn't anyway).
 
- Space Otter Charlie (Switch)
Cute little game. It'd be better if the gameplay evolved more over the course of the game, but it works for what it is.
 
- Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time (Switch)
I feel like this falls into that nostalgia trap of trying to recreate an old-fashioned experience without addressing the annoying antiquated elements. Fans of the series should love it though, it's very much in the Bandicoot vein.
 
- Iris Fall (Switch)
I liked the art style and atmosphere but unfortunately the gameplay was pretty middling.
 

Console: 22

PC: 3

Overall: 25

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Bloodborne (NG+)

 

Kirby Squeak Squad - I felt compelled to return to one of my favorite Kirby games. As far as the lil' puffball goes, this one's more challenging than I remember. I have fond memories of unlocking additional copy ability moves and combining powers to create Flame Sword, Fire Tornado, Spark Wheel, and Ice Bomb, and it holds up really well, especially since it's from the era before they decided Kirby players didn't appreciate a challenge. There's a ton of unlockable goodies, even some powers that are (to my knowledge) exclusive to this game. 

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While waiting for Pac-Man 99 to go live I beat the following:

 

Donkey Kong - NES - NSO

Donkey Kong Jr - NES - NSO

Donkey Kong 3 - NES - NSO

 

By "beat" I mean, I cleared the levels at least one time through before they repeated their layouts. I did this for both "A" mode and "B" mode for all 3 games.

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- Bravely Default II (Switch)
I fully enjoyed BDII but ultimately I do wish it innovated a bit on the Bravely Default formula—some fresh twists would have been nice.
 
- Balan Wonderworld (Switch)
I am straight up baffled that this game exists. It's one of the worst games I've played in a while, yet it's from an experienced developer and a major publisher. It feels like a rough, rough, rough first draft, not a finished product in the slightest.
 
- Say No! More (Switch)
Love the joke behind the story's concept, but I do wish there were more actual gameplay elements here.
 
- Monster Hunter Rise (Switch)
I'll count this for now since I did get the credits roll, though obviously I'm going to be putting a lot more time into this game over the coming months.
 
- Vitamin Connection (Switch)
Cute and colorful though the gameplay really didn't grab me. Co-op makes it more kooky and chaotic though.
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