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Video Games Finished in 2021


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- New Pokémon Snap (Switch)
Total nostalgia trip, good game to just relax and play. It's also super repetitive and slow but what are ya gonna do, it's Pokémon Snap.
 
- Here Be Dragons (Switch)
Interesting premise but it's so tied to the luck of the dice that too often battles are decided in the first round. Also feels like there are maybe too many enemy concepts thrown into the game when it should've just refined a few of them instead of constantly throwing new ideas at the player.
 
- Aerial_Knight's Never Yield (Switch)
I do wish the game had a bit more depth to it but it's a good pick up, play for a bit, and zone out kind of game.
 
- Chasm (Switch)
Not a bad Metroidvania, but also far from unique or exciting. The procedurally-generated hook just doesn't add much to the experience.
 
- Forgotton Anne (Switch)
Lovely visual style and a fun setting to explore, though I really wish the gameplay felt more polished and less clunky.
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5/24- Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition for Nintendo Switch 

Spoiler

Rayman has been a weird entity in my life. I played the first Rayman game on the PC decades ago. To this day, I never defeated it. Except for the first game, I don't think I ever played a game in the series. Maybe Rayman 2: The Great Escape, but my memory is a bit fuzzy. Then came... Rayman vs. Raving Rabbids. I'm going to say this now: F the Rabbids. They're annoying, loud, and they were responsible in the decline of Rayman games. Then, like a a sign from above, Rayman came back in Rayman: Origins. Though, I don't remember playing that game, since I was in college around that time. Eventually, Rayman Legends came a few years later. I have a few memories of playing that game at one of my friend's house when it came out. I never played it again since then. About a decade later, I finally began playing Rayman Origins. Then, for whatever reason, I stopped. Actually, at the time of this review, the WiiU GamePad and one of the cables is currently being lent to a friend. So, while I waited for those to come back, I played Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition. Although I had a few problems with the Origins Wii Controls, could Legends on the Switch do better? 

 

 Okay, so I'm a little lost on the story of the game. A cool bearded creature talks about dreams and how nightmares are taking over. Rayman and his friends, who are all sleeping at the time, wake up and try to stop these evil magical Teenies. That's my summary, because after the intro, there's no more dialogue. Sure there are cutscenes as the evil Teensies capture lady Teensies and try to flee, the lady Teensies distract the evil Teensies enough time to escape, the evil Teensies create chaos by summoning something big and evil, the evil Teensies try to flee by get stuck somewhere, and the evil Teensies are launched into some holes on a moon where they are suddenly attacked by some devils. Those cutscenes are similarly repeated five times throughout the game. But, even though I'm a little lost there, Rayman is just a hero saving the good Teenies. Looking up, I thought there was a secret boss, but no. Because even though I love the boss fights, I thought there was a secret final boss to beat after all this time. What a little disappointment. 

 

Though, even though the story is whatever, I love the art style and music. Rayman Legends is one of the best 2D platformers I've ever looked at. The creatures, playable characters, and worlds and levels are all so creative and memorable. I wish some of the levels had less hazards as one has to play a time trial kind of thing, but the game is otherwise amazing. The music is really dynamic and fun; and when Rayman dies, the music continues from before he died. That's soo cool. There are some levels that I'll talk about later which implement music really well. 

 

Rayman can run, jump, punch, bounce on enemies, charge punch, run on walls, climb, wall-jump, do a ground pound-like move, spin, and glide. Except for gliding, which is done with his hair, the rest of the moves are used by his other limbs. Rayman is one of the fastest beings ever, and that's a little negative, since some of the autoscrolling and time trial levels became a little too hectic. I never tried the other characters, because Rayman is the title character. Like Mario, holding the sprint button increases his jump arc. Rayman must save and search for captured Teensies everywhere, whether they are in plain sight, or are one of the royal Teensies hidden in secret rooms that house interesting puzzles. There are these music note things that give Rayman and co. new costumes. Since the Legendary Edition came with the DLC included, I naturally chose to put Rayman in Assassin clothes. This was before Ubisoft were bad with their IPs again. The princesses in this game are playable, but they are playable after the group finishes a set of challenges. I got them, but only wanted to beat the stages for the Teenies. But, getting new costumes and wearing both the unlock-able and DLC costumes is so much fun, even if they're cosmetic. 

 

Most stages have ten Teensies, except for the challenge, boss, time trial, and rhythm stages, which all have three. Time trial and challenge stages are easy to understand, but rhythm stages test the player's mastery of a few songs. The first one, Castle Rock, surprised me with a short cover of "Black Betty" by Ram Jam. I wish there were more of the rhythm stages, because the stages implemented the music very creatively and fun. There are five regular worlds total with six normal stages and five time trial stages (six for the last one), two challenge stages, one boss stage, and one rhythm stage. So, that's all together 453. The game has 852 total. So, where are they? The game brings many back stages from Rayman Origins, as a surprise. Legends also has Murphy stages which use Murphy's mechanics of moving a stage to manipulate its hazards and objects around. Murphy also does the same in the regular stages as well. The Lucky Draw tickets can be obtained when the team gets a certain amount of these purple and yellow music note things in the regular levels. Lucky Draw Tickets also have for the yellow kind, portraits to access the Origins levels, Teensies, and pets. Acquiring pets nabs one purple creatures and coins that house some yellow creatures daily, so check the pet museum frequently. There's a final world locked until the player gets 400 Teensies. With the amount of stages given in the game, including the Murphy and Origins levels, it's reasonably possibly. However, getting all of the Teensies gives the player... a golden Teensie costume. It looks cool, but it's only cosmetic. Besides, the last world is way better, since it features a new song and 8-Bit versions of all of the rhythm songs in the game. Now, that was a fun and amazing choice. Again, I wish the secret final boss was there, but the actual bosses in this game are fun too. 

 

And then there's Kung Foot. Not sure if anyone plays this now, since there are better multiplayer games out there. 

 

Rayman Legends is an enjoyable game that might seem underrated to some players. Not many people talk about this game compared to other well-known platformers. Rayman deserves another good sequel, Ubisoft. Stop focusing on Far Cry and Assassin's Creed, and give me a great Rayman game. And less of those Rabbids. 

 

6/1- Spider-Man for PS4 

 

Spoiler

A long time ago, I played Spider-Man 2 for the GameCube. It was so much fun to explore the city as Spider-Man back then because it was an amazing open-world approach to New York City. Years went by, and I never played the other Spider-Man games. To be fair, they were never gonna top Spider-Man 2. But, leave it to Insomniac, former owner of Spyro and the master of open-world design, to prove me wrong. In 2018, we got Insomniac's take on Spider-Man. Now, I love Spider-Man, but there was a big question on how amazing the game would be. The designs for a lot of characters looked odd, and the head villain is someone not many people know about, except for maybe diehard Spider-Man fans. But, as the game came out, many embraced THIS Spider-Man game and called it one of the best games of 2018. Even my brother liked it. For whatever reason, I never touched it until years later. So, how was my experience three years later? 

 

The story starts off with the battle between Spider-Man and William Fisk's goons. Spider-Man and the NYPD, with the help of captain Yuri, are planning own finally jailing the Kingpin. Spider-Man captures him, but Fisk warns Spider-Man that the city is far worse without him. It does indeed get worse, as new enemies known as Demons are planning to cause chaos. Spider-Man now must stop what or who is causing this new menace. I'm stopping there, because the rest of the story is like a movie. But, yeah, this is a Spider-Man game where Peter already has his abilities. In fact, he already lost Uncle Ben, graduated college, has a job as a scientist, and WAS in a relationship with MJ. The two broke up before the events of this game. This a mature, adult Peter. Okay, so he's not really mature, as he makes jokes when he's stressed, and forgot to pay his rent. But, spiritually, it's the same Peter. As for his job, he's working for Otto Octavius, pre-Doc Ock. In fact, Otto and Norman Osbourne have a bit of a rivalry in this game. Norman is the mayor, and his son Harry is in Europe. As for Aunt May, she's working at a F.E.A.S.T. center under the direction of Martin Li. F.E.A.S.T. is an organized homeless shelter group stationed all over NYC. But, like the new main villain, a new character, Miles Morales, has recently gotten more attention. In fact, he's one of the many alternate Spider-Men, and the protagonist of the Into The Spider-Verse movie. But, in this game, he's Miles. Miles is a hacker and much more technologically savvy than Peter. Like Peter, he too has a sad story, but it gets better for him by the end. J. Jonah Jameson left the Daily Bugle and became a podcaster. Spider-Man can hear his podcasts on his downtime, but I turned them down by the 3rd part of the story. The game came out luckily before an event that took place years later in real life. Bad timing could've made things a lot more awkward... or maybe relevant.

 

The game is beautiful. NYC has never looked so amazing, and there's a day and night cycle. The Wakanda Embassy and Avengers Tower even appear. All of the characters look a little... weird at times, but the voice acting more than helps. The generic enemies can be stuck in some places at times. The music might be cinematic and ambient, but it works with the game's tone throughout. And of course, HE has a cameo. This is perhaps the last time HE is seen in any media before HE passed away later that same year. Ouch.

 

Oh, boy, so there's a lot that goes into gameplay; but Spider-Man can swing around, attack and dodge on the ground and in the air, use his Spider-Sense to dodge, use web attacks, and use gadgets. He has a focus bar that can be used to finish off the baddies or to heal himself. By attacking and other means, the focus bar gets more energy. There's more to Spider-Man's movement and combat, but I want to make things brief right now. In the city, Spider-Man can participate in many, many side-missions to get tokens. These tokens are used to get upgrades for gadgets, and get costumes and bonus abilities. Most of the costumes also have a unique ability, but one can use the ability with a different costume if they desire. The costumes take inspiration from his most famous moments of his time, whether it's the comics or movies. Getting skill points by leveling up allows the player to get skills of their choice. There are enough skill points to get all of the skills here. The game also has a map and a fast travel system. The menu has all of the information Spider-Man needs. The map also lays out the side-quests in the game as well. When he's not Spider-Man, Peter also helps Otto too. These side-missions reward Spider-Man with research tokens. For brief story moments, Mary Jane and Miles are playable. Since they're not Spider-Man, they have to use stealth and distractions to get to the next point. If there's anything I left out, the game explains it all. It also helps that the game has difficulty options too. Although some of the baddies are hard and cheap at times, that never distracted me from loving this game.

 

Spider-Man for the PS4... is one of the best games of 2018. And even of all-time, period. This game is a love-letter to all of the fans out there, even those who aren't huge mega-fans like me. It's... better than Spider-Man 2. I'm serious, this is for now one of my Top 10. It's an incredible game. 

 

6/20- Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster for Nintendo Switch 

 

Spoiler

 

I love Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5 Royal. They're some of the best RPGs I ever played. But, some people don't like the Persona series because they're more popular than the rest of the SMT series, even the mainline Shin Megami Tensei series. They don't like how Persona appeals to the more casual crowd and has become more mainstream, and how none of the other series have gotten more games because of that. On one hand, seeing a series not have more games coming out because of many reasons does suck. But, putting the blame on Persona is somewhat unfair. Many people like Persona because of the simpler aspects of the story, gameplay, level design, characters, and so much more. (I'd say that with Persona 3-5 in mind.) Not many people would like to venture into worlds full of existential dread and despair. where hope is mostly gone. I don't remember when the news came, but alongside Shin Megami Tensei V, an HD remaster of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne would arrive for the Nintendo Switch, Steam, and Playstation 4. I was a little bit excited, because not only did some people think Nocturne is one of the most challenging games of all time, but because the "FEATURING DANTE FROM THE DEVIL MAY CRY SERIES" thing was hilarious. Still, it turns out that he's about 8$ DLC, even though the international version or whatever back then included his stuff in the base game FREE. Since Atlas is good at providing worthwhile DLC content at a reasonable price, I'll let this slide. 

 

The story begins with the protagonist hearing rumors of a murder spree in Yoyogi Park. Oh, right, this whole game takes place in Tokyo. He goes there, and meets Hijiri, a journalist. Hijiri thinks it's some work of a cult, and gives a magazine to the protagonist. The protagonist heads off to a nearby hospital, and meets with his friends Chiaki and Isamu. The hospital's whole staff are not there working, and the group think something is up. The protagonist goes to the basement, where he finds a weird man with a circular tube. He is Hiwaka, and goes on about changing the world, because it sucks. He is about to fight the protagonist, when Yuko, the protagonist's teacher, stops them and tells Hiwaka to let the protagonist live. Although hesitant at first, Hikawa allows it, but says he'll still change the world. The protagonist and Yuko go up on the roof, and Yuko says that the old world is dying, and that the Conception will begin. And, just like that, it's the end of the world! ... Not quite. The protagonist survives, but while he was unable to do anything, an old woman and her young master turn him into a demon. The protagonist is now able to fight other demons. The Vortex World is an apocalyptic Japan full of demons, and a moon-like sphere known as the Kagutsuchi. Eventually, he finds Hijiri, Chiaki, Isamu, Hikawa, and Yuko, and come across these human substitutes known as... Manikins. (HAH.) Even though Hijiri helps the protagonist find out what's going on through similar circular devices known as Network Terminals and the Amala Network, the rest of the world is at war with establishing their Reasons. With enough Magatsuhi, or souls, an individual is able to shape the New World with their own Reason, I guess their own theology. The protagonist is able to choose who they side with, even though most of the choices, in my honest opinion, are horrible. The protagonist cannot have his own Reason because he's a demi-fiend. I like that there's an option of who to side with, but most of the characters' motivations are downright disgusting. I was going to side with Isamu at one time, because it seemed like he wanted individuality from what I read beforehand, but what it turned out to be is complete isolation. A world of loneliness. So, I joined Yuko, because even though her Reason does have its own problems, it's about freedom. But, I also found out the Dante DLC also includes another final boss and ending, so I'll eventually get to that one soon.

  

At first, I liked the style of the game because of the apocalyptic setting, but most of the settings are barren rural areas, the subway, or ancient buildings. There's no life or fun in this world, and it looks rather boring. At least add in a large graveyard or haunted forest. I know Tokyo doesn't have that in real life, but it's the Vortex World. Crazy demons are in this world, so why didn't that apply to the places the protagonist goes? Worse, is that the map design doesn't reflect progress like how the recent Persona games handled it, and the places themselves have probably some of the worst, most confusing, and most gimmicky level designs I have ever seen. Like the original Final Fantasy II, there's a good amount of dead ends with no treasures and secrets. Use a guide, because the game throws one for a loop at times. Also, traversing the world sucks when there's only a few people outside, and most of the NPCs look bored, look the same, and are souls. Then, there's the characters. Not only are the Manikins the creepiest things I've ever seen because of their constant spontaneous strokes or whatever, but all of the characters don't synch their words with their mouths. It's really uncanny. But, that's not the worst of it. I encountered a few glitches and bugs. And, sometimes during the battles and cutscenes, the frame-rate would be terribly horrible. It's probably the only time I cared about that. Also, for this game to be titled an HD remaster, it looks basic as all heck. It does not look HD to me. As for the music... it's alright, although I think the quality is very poor through Switch handheld speakers. I bought the music pack... even though I regret doing that now. I thought there'd be more music coming from that, like how Persona 5 Royal did it, but I was wrong. 

 

I went into this game thinking it would be similar to the Persona games I've played. Yes, and no. There's stuff that's removed and changed. Just don't expect it to be easy, because unlike Persona, this game doesn't hold out a hand or give a fair challenge at times. Some things, like the revival system, retreating, the frequency of random battles, the negotiation system, and some BS moves and status effects were the worst culprits of this game. And dying is a pain, since the cutscene is unskippable, slow, and boring.  

 

Add that with some of the most unfair of bosses, and how much EXP is needed to level up, and one will see that this game is guilty of being a chore to get through at tines. If at all possible, get the free Merciless DLC, and maybe buy the other stuff that isn't the BGM. The DLC not only provides more content, but the new stuff includes items that boost the amount of EXP and money.  

 

Nocturne has a good premise and idea, but the execution of the idea, plus some horrendous level and combat design, make it one of the most brutal games i've ever played. It's not bad, but it can be cruel. 

 

 

6/27- Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX for Nintendo Switch 

 

It was Sega's first attempt to beat Mario when it first released on the SMS. It's no Mario, and the ending has a LOT to be desired. Even though the new music and new art direction are nice, it can't save an arcade design philosophy, and the bosses are surprisingly underwhelming. But, this remake does have infinite continues. Sure, this game might have been standard back in the late 80's, but this game's simplicity doesn't a candle to most of today's games, or heck, even Super Mario Bros. I thought I was going to get an epic. But, all I got was disappointment. 

 

 

Edited by Link, the Hero of Dreams
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  • 2 weeks later...

Lucky number 13 is Mass Effect 3 and that is the entirety of the Legendary Edition done in less than a month from release. Been meaning to get through these games since 3 released back in the day and could never stick with them. Glad that I did since the story is awesome. 
 

O: 13

C: 10

PC: 3

Edited by Irondog666
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- The Mummy Demastered (Switch)
Not a bad Metroidvania game, but not a fantastic one either. Solidly in the middle, I'd say.
 
- Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World (Switch)
Another solid but not particularly special retro revival. Fun, but I wouldn't rush out to recommend it.
 
- Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4)
So first of all, I played this on PS4 so obviously the graphics were rough and there were a lot of bugs, though mostly small graphical ones and only a few crashes. That said, I still enjoyed the game. It's definitely unpolished and there are plenty of little elements that I'd like to have fleshed out a bit better, and the whole experience never grabbed me the way The Witcher 3 did, but I still liked exploring the city and taking on odd jobs, hacking objects and enemies, mixing stealth with all-out combat, etc. I liked the city and the main characters and, at least in my playthrough, Johnny and V had a great begrudging friendship that developed well. It's just that the game never really hits the heights that it clearly should have been able to, with some good ideas that are ultimately underused and other elements that, while fun, aren't all that unique from other open-world RPGs like this.
 
- Kaze and the Wild Masks (Switch)
Solid 90s style platformer but I would've liked to see a more original take rather than taking such direct and obvious influence from the Donkey Kong Country games.
 
- Genesis Noir (Switch)
This one finally got patched so that it doesn't crash every time I try to finish the last chapter. Still pretty salty that this game released so buggy—and that I saw relatively few reviews about that—but the actual content of Genesis Noir is beautifully unique and a real treat to just lose oneself in. Hopefully it's patched/stable enough now that I can recommend it, but I'd still advise some caution.
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On 1/9/2021 at 11:46 AM, purple_beard said:

 

6/24 LoZ / Japanese NSO 

 

 

For no other reason than I wanted to I beat LoZ via the Japanese NSO...or Famicom NSO... or whatever....

I kind of enjoyed the extra chimes to the audio.

 

My memories of the USA version were when the game came out I wanted it but when my Grandmother, brother, and I went to Brendles to get it as our main goal they had no copies in stock and so after my brother and I debated we took home Top Gun instead because we liked the movie.  When we finally got the game, I think it was Christmas of that same year, we had to play it on a black and white tv so none of the dungeons looked different to us.  I believe I was the first one to beat the game.  I also remember asking around school about things like "where is that darn power bracelet" and what not.  In later playthroughs I revised my strategy to make better use of time and cut down on needless travel.  I regard this game as one of my favorites of  the NES era.

 

FWIW, I did like 2 as well...even if I found the change in style shocking but....it also made it grander in a lot of regards.  My only thing now is I am so out of practice in Z2 that the final trek to the final palace is super tough for me to do now....  Everything is is golden.  I still think my strategies are solid.... and I can make quick work on that game up until that final trek through that final swamp up to the final palace.

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- Star Wars Squadrons (PS4)
It's cool to pilot an X-wing and a Tie Fighter but I'm not really into flight sim games, I prefer the more purely arcade/cartoony feel of Star Fox.
 
- A Short Hike (Switch)
I've been meaning to give this a try for apparently almost a year now. Finally played it, and what an adorably cozy game. I had assumed it'd be a little more narrative-focused, like Night in the Woods or something, but I really enjoyed just exploring the little island, and flying around once I had a lot of golden feathers.
 
- World's End Club (Switch)
Didn't know what to expect going into this game and was not prepared for the atrocious platformer gameplay mixed with a so-so visual novel story.
 
- Ruiner (Switch)
I'm still in a cyberpunk mood after 2077 so this kind of scratched that itch. Early on I wasn't sure about this game—the controls are kind of awkward, not as smooth as you'd expect from what is essentially a twin-stick shooter. But once you unlock abilities and have the freedom to pick them it was pretty fun. Still felt like the game had some BS difficulty spikes but overall it was engaging.
 
- Mario Golf: Super Rush (Switch)
Adventure mode leaves something to be desired—overall easy but it drags, and then there are strange difficulty spikes where you're really thrown into the deep rough with hazards/mechanics—but overall it's still a decent Mario Golf game, good for some goofy party game moments.
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Just beat Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. I really loved this game. Although hack and slash titles like this can be repetitive, I had a lot of fun with it. Still not done with it completely. Going for 100% and I already have the expansion pass. So there is more to come in November which will be fun. Not certain what I will play next but 14 games in half a year isn’t a lot. Then to be real about it, I been playing a lot of RPGs and long ass games. So I guess it comes with the territory. 
 

O: 14

C: 11

PC: 3

Edited by Irondog666
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