2020 52 Games in 1 Year Challenge!!
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    Welcome to the 2020 thread for badgers that fancy trying to play 52 games in a year to whatever they decide is some form of completion. Tell us how you're doing and what you are going to play next - either claim a post and update on your progress or keep posting your completions and then do a final count post at the end of the year! Even if you're not gonna make it to 52 and you’ve made efforts before and got nowhere near, it's a good way to record all your completions/failures/hates and give others your impressions or maybe get some info from them on said game!!


    So simple usual stuff!!

    How do I take part?

    Claim a post! Write down the game and your thoughts about each one in this format for your post:


    How do I know when I've completed a game?

    Up to you, it could be completing the game or playing 10hrs+ if it no ending or a multiplayer game. Replays count as long as all the games are completed in 2019.

    Do I have to record time?

    No. But you can if you like!! If so you could potentially see how long you’ve spent on games this year and then wonder how you got away with it!

    Do I have to review or comment on the games I complete?

    No but it'd be nice to give a few words or maybe a quick score. Full blown reviews or mini-reviews aren't necessary and will just make it an incredibly big post,though they will be anyway.

    Do episodic games count as a single game or X amount of games?

    That's up to you. It's alright to count something like Life is Strange as one or five games. Your choice.

    Can I finish a game I started in 1992 and count that?


    What should I do once I've completed the challenge?

    Shoot me a PM! If it takes off and people keep me updated I'm more than happy to FINALLY sort out a prize system?

    Is there a deadline?

    End of the current year!!!!

    People who have completed the challenge will be posted here, please send me a PM once you’re done or if I’ve missed you as it’s hard reading through them all as they end up being recorded everywhere!!


    Winners and in what year:

    Muzzy in 18-52!!
    Wario in 18-52!!
    Moot in 18——72!!!!!!

    Others results in past Years:
    Verecocha: 17-38, 18-22, 19-29 (STILL Pathetic)
    Hylian Elf: 17-25, 18-13, 19-12
    Muzzy: 17-59, 18-52
    Webbins: 17-27, 18-41
    Andy: 18-12
    Monkey: 18-7
    Wario: 18-52
    Moot: 18-72!!!
    JonB: 18-30
    Nina: 18-13

    GOOD LUCK!! After the last couple 3 years of FAILURE I’m gonna need more than luck it BUT I’M MORE DETERMINED THAN EVER!!!

    ( Will update results and hall of fame ASAP! Just wanted it up and running before I was KILLED!)
  • 1.Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order - 18 hours - 8/10 - Xbox One X

    Really didn’t like this for a good while. Felt clumsy, rushed, no connection to Star Wars, didn’t feel at all like a Jedi, absolutely sucked, but...I persevered and ended up absolutely loving it. When you have a few skills unlocked, a better connection to the force, a badass lightsaber and you get into the story it becomes amazing. By the end I enjoyed the characters, felt like I had control of the force and could dispatch enemies at will, hold my own against the bosses until I understood their patterns and kinda didn’t want it to end. That was awesome.

    2.Horizon: Zero Dawn - 24 Hours - 8/10 - PS4 PRO

    Decided to go back, for a third time...and finally stuck to it and finished this. Unluckily the first time I think it was up against Zelda, the second time I never really tried I don’t think, but this time I pushed through the relearning curve and it is without question an amazing game. Absolutely stunning, good to play without being great, an interesting world and enjoyable story, and most of the main characters are interesting as well as the main being very much so. There’s definitely something missing but I can’t quite put my finger on it. But, I have definitely enjoyed it at the third attempt, really glad I went back...again.

    3.Shadow of the Colossus - 6 Hours - 3/10 - PS4 PRO

    I hated that. I absolutely hated it. After Horizon I thought I’d look for another unfinished and when I saw it was relatively short I thought I’d go back. Had Colossi 4-16 to destroy and I didn’t enjoy anything but the visuals. The controls are abysmal. The Colossi are boring. The world is beautiful but empty and boring. There’s no challenge beyond getting the character to actually do kind of what you want. The horse is abysmal. As I said, everything but the visuals. That is easily the worst game I’ve forced myself to finish. After seeing the metacritic score all I can thing is people are letting it off because of the team behind it and the fact it’s different and blah blah as that was fucking awful.

    4.Man of Medan - 6 Hours - 4/10 - PS4 PRO

    Really, really disappointing. Really enjoyed Until Dawn and so thought I’d pick this up at some point and wish I hadn’t. Story was rubbish, looked good but was technically rather woeful, lots of odd loading screens and jumping between scenes due to choices, and then it just ended. Such a disappointment. Got a few jump scares but wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.

    5.Infamous: Last Light - 3 Hours - 6/10 -PS4 PRO

    Not a bad game, remembered really enjoying Second Son so when I saw this cheap I thought why not. Like the Infamous universe and series so immediately enjoyed the little story, gameplay and abilities on show, but, the controls absolutely sucked being a southpaw, that really brought the score down for me. Still looks stunning even now and have no idea how much it cost at release but even for a tenner to finish it in one sitting was a disappointment. Hope there’s more from this universe though as it is good fun.

    6.Vanquish - Remaster - 8 Hours- 10/10 - Xbox One X

    What a game, what a remaster, 4K @ 60fps, stunning. One of the best games of its gen, bettered and more awesome than ever. Been excited ever since I heard about the remaster so picked it up as soon as I’d heard it’d dropped. Such a great game, movement, range of weapons, level and enemy designs, great cover system, it’s just all magnificent. Still looks incredible, great artwork and simplicity never gets old. Absolutely loved playing through this again and can’t think of a single negative.

    7.Anthem - 8 Hours - 5/10 - Xbox One X

    Hmm...well, it was all bad, then kinda good, then lots of good bits, but no narrative or any other means to pull it all together, it’s just a lot of good ideas, good weapons, awesome movement and stunning looks all thrown into a void without character, charm, wit, it all just exists in a weird vacuum. Such a shame as had they created half a world as interesting as Destiny with Anthem additions it could have been a mainstay for years, instead after finishing the main...story...I’m more than done with it. For the few quid it can be picked up for it’s worth it, but it could have been worth so much more.

    8.Dead Space - 8 Hours - 10/10 - Xbox One X Spruced

    Still just perfect. Just fancied playing it for some reason and man am I glad I did. Absolutely everything is spot on. And it literally just came out of nowhere. Still gets quite a few jumps out of me too...Not sure how much work the X was doing but it looked fabulous and the sound was still tremendous. Now I simply have to play the second. But not the third. If only they’d make another entry.

    9.Division 2:Warlords of New York - 6 Hours - 10/10 - Xbox One X

    Ace coming back to New York, and ace coming back to The Division 2. Great bit of DLC with tons of content that’ll keep me playing, but that’s the main story content done. Finally the Keener story comes to an end...but more of course appears afterwards. More very similar but awesome weapons and armour, the gunplay is still perfection. Best cover shooter alongside Gears. And Christ it’s beautiful. Thoroughly enjoyed the DLC, completely worth the entry fee.

    10.Dead Space 2 - 7 Hours - 10/10 - Xbox One X

    Man that was awesome. Again spruced up by the X it looked incredible and felt like playing a new release. Even better than the first in my opinion, just terrific. Throws everything at it but somehow it seems to all stick. Good follow up story, return to weapons and system upgrades and never lets up the pace, now...do I even attempt 3 as I can’t remember anything about it...which can’t be good.

    11.Dead Space 3 - 8 Hours - 5/10 - Xbox One X

    Now I remember why I didn’t remember Dead Space 3. That was just awful, what a terrible waste of a series. I could understand somewhat the change to action IF the action was great, but it was abysmal. Closet scares aside there isn’t any scares or ‘horror’ in it, though potentially the horror of playing it is what they were getting at? I’m sure I’ll forget it all over again in no time. Worst playing, worst looking and a total waste in the series.

    12.Doom Eternal - 10 Hours - 9/10 - Xbox One X

    What an awesome ride. Not gonna lie, it took a little getting into, I was worried that maybe I remembered Doom 2016 far too positively and it wasn’t the game I remembered, but after a couple of hours it all sinks in and just gets better and better. Sound is incredible, visuals outstanding, levels are just one room of non-stop action after another aside from the one thing that brings the score down. The swimming and climbing/jumping sections are just awful, really irritating. It says a lot that the rest of the game is that good that you can simply look past them. Seriously, buy this game and Rip and Tear.
  • 1. Her Story (Mac) - 6/1 - 5hrs
    A great interactive story really. Use search words and terms to unlock clips (over 200 of varying lengths from a few seconds to a minute) of a woman being interviewed by cops, and piece together the story. But it’s so well put together, works really and is surprisingly compulsive in trying to find more videos. Hits get less successful (diminishing returns) as you progress obviously but there is a skill to it (listen carefully to the clips and suss out key words that may occur across more than one clip etc). Well worth a few quid and few hours of time. Onto Telling Lies shortly.

    2. Astral Chain
    (Switch) - 10/1 - 30hrs
    Slow start but once this got going and you unlock some abilities and skills, the combat is good Platinum stuff as always. The mix of styles is good and works really well. Not the best example of each genre it puts into the mix, but the overall game is far better than the sum of its parts.


    Baba Is You
    (Switch) - 7/1 - c8hrs
    Gave this a fair whack. 8 hours or so and I managed to unlock 7 areas, but not without looking up 3 or 4 solutions. It’s driving me crazy. It’s really clever, but way beyond my capabilities.
    My give up.
    [No score]
    "But enough talk. HAVE AT YOU!"
  • Hooray! List goes here.
    1. Katana Zero (Switch)
    2. Ape Out (Switch)
    3. Skyblazer (Snes)
    4. Starfox (Snes)
    5. Starfox 2 (Snes)
    6. Trip World (Gameboy)
    7. Tiny Toons - Buster Busts Loose (Snes)
    8. Rive (Switch)
    9. Aladdin (Snes)
    10. The Floor is Jelly (PC)
    11. What the Golf (iOS)
    12. Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow (Snes)
    13. Counterspy (Vita)
    14. Avenging Spirit (Gameboy)
    Hall of Permanent Abandonment

    1. Fez (PC)

    Format placeholder

  • Placeholder just in case.
  • 1. Heave Ho - Switch (6hrs)

    Madcap same room cooperative multiplayer game that exploits its core mechanic flawlessly.  Each player controls the arms and hands of a...face with arms and hands.  The analogue stick stretches/flails both arms around in any given direction, the left trigger clutches onto surfaces with the left hand, the right trigger grabs hold with the right.  From there it's all about manipulating the character by any means necessary to reach the goal.  If you're holding the correct button as your hand brushes a surface, it sticks regardless of momentum.  Swing, fling and climb your way to victory, either while assisting or hindering other players, shouting encouragement at each other and/or screaming at the ceiling in frustration.  Once one player reaches the goal they can call a balloon for the other players.  Take ten minutes to finish a stage and you'll be assisted in some way by additional poles.   Because of the amount of consistent fun we all had with it each and every session every session, plus the fact that it retails for less than a tenner full price, I'm going all the way to [10] with this if played with three or more players.  Most definitely GotY 2019 for me.  I can't believe how good it is, and how good my 5yr old daughter is at it, was an absolute joy to play through with her and Mrs. Geeza even got involved here and there.  An absolute hoot, I don't think I've had this much fun with same room mp since Monkey Target (and I LOVE Nidhogg & Towerfall Ascension). 

    2. Crazy Zen Minigolf - Switch (1hr)

    60% off if you pre-ordered should've been enough to set alarm bells ringing, but I'm powerless to resist handheld golf.  Turns out it's truly and astonishingly abysmal.  Surfaces that don't seem to make any sense, random physics, nonsensical hazards, a terrible camera system and holes so badly designed (presumably as a concession to the randomness off the controls) that one of them is a PAR 14.  They added a limited amount of aftertouch to the ball, and a jump button, which is just enough to double its score. [2]   Oh well, at least House of Golf was good.

    It actually stands for

    3. Cursed Castilla EX - Switch (2hrs 23mins 35secs) 

    Pretty good love letter to Ghouls n Ghosts.  It literally does nothing wrong in terms of flattery through imitation.  If you enjoyed Capcom's classics and fancy playing a new one that feels like an old one, this is exactly what you need.  Nothing spectacular, but brutally difficult (albeit without a soul crushing lack of continues).  Ronseal gaming, recommended at half price. [7].

    4. Shakedown Hawaii - Switch (5hrs) 

    Fun fact: this was one of the main reasons I bought a Switch a couple of months after launch.  Was listed as a launch window release for a while, then it unceremoniously disappeared, for ages, and eventually reappeared with the empire building aspect bolted on.  It's kind of my Last Guardian.  Fun fact over.   First things first then.  I could've done without the mogul management stuff.  It's fine and it doesn't really get in the way if you're after a straight arcadey experience, but I wasn't tempted to do anything optional.  Having said that, the cutscenes are fun so it's just a not my cup of tea thing.  I suppose they decided not to simply make another Retro City Rampage a few years on, so fair play.  I expect it more than doubles the length if you're a hundo hunter. The main playable sections are split between chunky og GTA bits and on foot twin stick shooting.  Both are decent, so if that's what you're after there's plenty to be satisfied with. Plus the absolutely relentless mission hopping is more varied than expected. [7] 

    5. Toki - Switch (roughly 70 minutes) 

    2018 redo of the 1989 arcade game, infamous for being one of the 'how much??!' EShop titles at £26.99.  It's finally dropped to a price I was prepared to part with (£5.99), but it's still one to avoid.  Whereas the Wonderboy III remake felt like a lavish lick of paint deftly daubed onto a classic game, the years have been far less kind to the way this one plays.  Couple that with the fact that the lick of paint itself has been applied in a slightly more slapdash way and you've got an oddity that might not even appeal to fans of the original.  Because of this, I'm not really sure who this is supposed to appeal to.  It's initially tricky, of course, but once you've learned the simplistic layouts/patterns it becomes strangely easy for repeated attempts.  It's a piece of piss compared to some modern 2D checkpoint platformers/run 'n gun types for sure.  Having needed a full restart to finish it - despite the 9 credits and 9 lives on default mode - I breezed through the first few levels the second time without losing more than a handful of lives.  All in all, it's a reasonably attractive lukewarm mess, with an overlarge character and controls that haven't stood the test of time past basic functionality.  [4], but only because I have a certain amount of respect for what it once was.

    6. 140 - Switch (75 mins) 

    Half of a BOGOF deal with twin stick shooter THOTH.  More on that later.  £4.49 for both.  Spoiler: bite their hand off. This one's a rhythm based platformer, very simplistic in terms of avatar movement (left/right/jump being the sum total of your options), but impressively inventive in terms of level design.  Guide your shape through checkpoints to the level goal, which acts as a warp if you touch it after collecting a nearby orb.  Surprisingly, the level guardians were the highlight for me, and the reason this settles on an [8] rather than a strong [7].  They're all good, even the one that messed-with-my-head-maaan, but the rhythm Pang types were sublime.  £2.25 for maybe an hour and a quarter of expertly crafted, stylish indie platforming.  Even the MMG naysayers would struggle to sniff at that, Shirley? 

    7. THOTH - Switch (90 mins) 

    Outstanding twin stick puzzle shooter.  You'll pick up the basics within a minute or so of playing, but in a nutshell: shoot enemies until their colour is suppressed and they turn black; once this happens they'll hone in on you more quickly.  Your avatar is nippier when not firing.  You can aim with the right stick or soft lock-on with the face buttons.  One hit kills, you have two lives to get through four stages but after losing your first life the walls become deadly too (cheers for that).  Every fourth stage locks as a restart point.  Each stage presents a puzzle of sorts but it rarely feels like there's necessarily an optimal way to solve it - at heart it's a twitch shooter, but it's the puzzle element elevates it to greatness.  Honestly, absolutely everything about this is nigh on perfect, it's an incredibly well designed game.  It even has a co-op mode. [9]

    8. 198X - Switch (70 mins) 

    Had a beady eye on this for over a year now. It's a grab bag of original retro styled arcade experiences - the sort too pretty to port to most consoles in the early 90s - held together by an appealingly presented yet wafer thin story told mostly via stunning pixel art cutscenes, but occasionally through v/o while you play (which works magnificently). The genres you're treated to on your whistlestop journey to the credits are scrolling beat 'em up, scrolling shmup, super scaler style racer, ninja themed auto runner and maze RPG. They all look great and sound good thanks to a legit Yuzo Koshiro score, but they're all merely adequate at heart.  In order of good to bad, despite the fact that they've each got one foot in both camps, it's: shooter, racer, RPG, ninja runner, beat 'em up.   This is part one of a planned series, but it's over so quickly the feeling of being short changed weighs the whole thing down.  Fleshing out each playable section might have helped, but biting the bullet, holding fire and releasing the whole thing as a full package would've been preferable.  Genre hopping between snazzy looking, enjoyable-yet-average experiences throughout a 3hr game would have all the whizzbang with none of the gee wizz what a swizz, so perhaps this one should only be fully judged when complete.  As I'm reviewing what's in front of me - basically a 1hr game - it's disappointing.  I liked it a hell of a lot while it lasted, probably more than it deserved in fairness, but even so I can't really go higher than [6]. 

    9. Squidlit - Switch (45 mins, including starting again twice) 

    A Blue Swirl rec.  I...kinda enjoyed it.  But I never had a Gameboy, so the handheld monochrome display effect didn't stir my loins.  Fun fact: I had to reboot twice as I thought the screen had filled with ink (or something) and crashed.  I could move around but couldn't see what my character was doing, so I thought it had glitched.  Turns out the right analogue stick controls the contrast, for some unknown reason, and because both combinations of my JoyCons are borked and like to drift whenever they fancy it, the screen kept fading to black (or dark green).  Fun fact over!  It's a functional platformer but I doubt anyone would've been happy with the length in 1991.  You could probably get through it twice on one set of batteries.  [4].  Sorry Swirl, £1.79 seems a touch steep.  I didn't hate it and the book boss was neat, but 'tis a bit shit really.  

    10. Sky Blazer, SNES (90mins) Finally finished this.  I don't think doing it in four sessions helped in the end, I probably should've put more of an effort in.  I'd like to try it on original hardware to see if it's the emulation that gives the controls that 'a little bit off' factor, which can be a problem on the Pi from time to time (the timing of the double jump in Revenge of Shinobi has never felt quite right to me via emulation, for example).  The franky pathetic short range of the attack is my main bugbear, as it exacerbates the already floaty controls thanks to the way certain enemies have to be approached precisely.  Playing this without any nostalgia gives it an unfair disadvantage though; my retro head is savvy enough to know that this would've been legit in 1994.  I know for a fact some of the bosses would've got my juices flowing (some - a couple are bobbins).   It's varied, often a massive tick in the plus column for late period 16-bit titles, but in worthwhile ways.  I enjoyed the forced scrolling levels and Mode 7 always looks sexy af to my Megadrive eyes.  As usual I'll go for a percentage rating.  FWIW my retro scores can be roughly deciphered using the formula 'what I would've given it at the time minus 5-10% (depending on genre)'.  So a healthy 83%, from me - doesn't quite sneak into the low top tier but definitely a good platformer overall.

    11. West of Loathing - Switch (7-8hrs) 

    Humorous cowboy RPG with particular attention paid to the humorous cowboy aspect - it's is a very funny game, and not just smile or titter territory; the script made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions.  This is a consistently well written game and the tone never grated on me.  The RPG side of the proceedings seems pretty standard, but the successfully amusing exchanges/text elevate the occasionally trite bob-a-jobbing considerably.  The battle system is perfunctory, but it works.  I'm off to bed soon, so this will be a short review, but I don't want it to sound negative.  I really enjoyed it, and I really don't tend to enjoy the genre at all these days, which means I'm absolutely recommending it to anyone who might be interested.  There's tons to do, and I did most of it.  That's right - I mopped up side quests!  Form an orderly queue to touch me, I'm a changed man thanks to the trials and tribulations of Waylon Hoss 'Danger' Roosevelt. [8]

    For later:

    Blood & Truth - PSVR (4hrs)

    I'm having this because I would've finished it today if my Playstation hadn't required emergency full memory wiping resuscitation.  A quick look online suggests I was around 40 mins from the end - will pop round and finish finish it off when @retroking1981 unlocks the last chapter, but I'm not starting it again.  Not because it's not great, but because I tend to be a bit weird about replaying stuff, especially immediately after I've done it.  I'm ready to review it anyway, and I'm well pissed off about the loss of all my save states for everything so 'low it please peeps.   I've always been partial to light gun games, and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood was so satisfying - even played with a pad - that it went a considerable way towards justifying the outlay for the VR kit for me. I started to play this with the dual shock, but it quickly became apparent that it deserved more.  Armed with the move controllers retro kindly lent me I blitzed through the story in a couple of days.  As soon as I got used to the reload motion (you have to manually load a clip from your chest into a weapon) it was pretty obvious that this was going to be a success.  There's no denying it's an insanely expensive way to relive (and hugely expand upon) the glory days of a dead genre, but if you do happen to be kitted out with a PS4, a headset, two move controllers, some decent in-ear headphones and a copy of the game, then you have treated yourself wisely.  The full immersion works staggeringly well, from the hotspot movement system to the gunplay itself.  With, say, a handgun on each hip and a shotty on each shoulder, holstering the former to reach back and grab hold of the latter is immensely satisfying.  Even the climbing sections are good - I might've looked like a twat acting out the motions of monkey bars while sitting on the sofa in my front room, then drawing a pistol from my hip and shooting someone in the face one handed while hanging from the other, but when you're doing what's described in that sentence and it works, who fucking cares, right?  The future is now. It's not perfect, as pick ups are often infuriatingly out of reach, requiring recalibration mid gunfight, but that can be excused and goes with the territory in my experience.  It's also quite short, and leans on cinematic storytelling fairly regularly, leaving you with maybe 3hrs of actual running riot shooty bits.  Importantly, when everything works seamlessly there's not much that can touch it.  It's full Laahdahn bruv, with some decent and not so decent voice acting, but the mockney family mobsters shtick is pretty well done for the most part.  If you've got the kit and reckon you could stomach Martina Cole's Snatch in VR you'd be a fool to miss it. [8] *Will remove asterisk when I finish it properly.

    12. Flipping Death - Switch 

    (6-7hrs) Took a while to warm to it, started to enjoy it immensely after an hour or so, then spent the back half of the game - at least - wishing it would end. In essence it's a humorous point and click that ditches the pointing and clicking in favour of wonky platforming, and massively over-eggs the humour. It is amusing in a fair few places, but it's all a bit relentless. Puzzles mostly consist of either obvious or contrived 'go here, possess this, do that' checklists, which wears thin pretty quickly. It's ridiculous how often I reference Haunting Starring Polterguy these days, but here goes again: it's a bit like that crossed with Grim Fandango with a bit too much bad tween TV chucked in for good/bad measure. Tried to like it Unc, failed. The platforming is horrendously clunky and there just wasn't enough satisfaction tied to any success. [5]

    13. Journey to the Savage Planet - Xbox One (11hrs 9mins)

    A pleasant surprise for sure.  It's an explore 'em up with unlockable abilities used to access previously inaccessible areas.  Someone should probably come up with a more suitable descriptor for the genre.  It's also another humour heavy type, falling somewhere between Portal 2, Twisted Pixel games and Starship Troopers.  The voice over never got annoying for me (there's an option to reduce the waffle or turn it off, so it seems pointless to complain even if it does grate).  It also has plenty of PAKISTAN IS THREATENING MY BORDER type TV ads, but they're mostly okay as a one watch, and you can turn them off too.  

    It's not an absolutely whopper, but it is a bigger game than I assumed it would be going in.  Still, it's a tiddler in comparison to something like Breath of the Wild.  I much prefer these smaller, intricately designed game worlds over square foot dick measuring maps, and this really does give off a lovingly crafted glow at every turn.  Visuals are surprisingly excellent too; it's a damn fine looking game.  I quite liked the platforming in the end, especially once your character becomes a bit more manoeuvrable.  The ledge grab traversal assist is fairly well implemented, especially when you're scrambling over clusters of rocks that are often surprisingly scalable.  The exact rules for the grapple hook LB trigger still remain elusive to me - and I like exact rules in games - which means I fell in frustration half a dozen times, but it rarely takes long to pick yourself up and try again.  The shooting never felt quite right either, and I can't put my finger on why.  There's a chance I've lost any meagre FPS skills I had during the wilderness years, so it could well be a case of me not you with the gunplay, but half the time it felt like the aim assist was set to '1mm off target trollolol'.  Either that or it had no aim assist, but according to the settings it does.  Shrug.  As Tin mentioned in the thread there's huge scope for cheesing a lot of of the time, which compensates somewhat.  It's serviceable anyway, not strong enough maintain a shooting game for sure, but not weak enough to detract more than a smidge from the overall package here.

    The exploration was quite addictive, which isn't something I say very often.  It was nice to have a good old fashioned bastard as an end boss too.  You know the drill, montage incoming: that's not fair/that's shit/bollocks did that hit me/what the fuck is hitting me/nooo not again/where am I supposed to stand then/aargh [slowly and lightly pounds joypad in frustration]/FUUUUUU...oh, I've done it, great stuff.  

    It's an odd game, and I've spent most of the review wondering whether to plump for a 7, 8 or 9.  No prizes for guessing that we'll take an [8] for the bottom line, but it's better and worse than that.  It's a wonder I don't review games professionally really.

    And I forgot to mention co-op, which is what I bought it for in the first place.  The way the game saves for two players is a bit odd though, as player one hosts, and player two joins their save.  So the guest is just a visitor really, which to me feels like it either has to be played entirely in co-op, or completed solo by each player first.  I'll do a bit of mopping up in co-op, but in the end the single player was too good to resist so we both ploughed on.

    14. Toby: The Secret Mine - Switch (2hrs) 

    Truly horrendous budget Limbo clone.  Nothing works anywhere near as well as it should, which is unforgivable in such a simplistic copycat side scroller.  Some of the puzzles are okay, but the controls are terrible, so obviously in practice they're not. I thought I had a fair bit to say about it, but now that I'm sat at a keyboard I can't be bothered.  All anyone needs to know is that even if you only spend eighty nine pence* on it, the real Toby is you.  Strip away the not-too-shabby-I-guess visuals and it's an irredeemable mess.  I didn't even try to rescue any of the prisoners off the beaten track, yet I ended up with 20 out of 27.  Shite.  [2]  It made me yearn for another playthrough of Inside though, so something good came out of it I guess. *At least I think it's 89p at the mo, I bought it last time it was dirt cheap. Nope, I didn't even like the minecart section.

    15. Ruiner - Xbox One (4.5hrs)

    Unashamedly brutal and bellowingly unsubtle wave based twin stick close quarters combat game.  Take a pinch of Hotline Miami, a spot of Running Man, a dash of Nightcrawler (see what I did there??  YOU'LL SEE) and repeatedly club what emerges from the melting pot around the head with Judge Dredd.  Now imagine imagine it on horseback - Sarah Jane from Bravestar, obviously - sat just in front of Brian Blessed, charging forward while shouting "God, and King Richard!" in unison.  The cast of Cyberpunk-by-committee villains is astonishing.  A sum total of fuck all of them are any better than an imaginative 13yr old could design, but they're Cyberpunk characters!  They're supposed to be awesome and a bit amusing, right?  Job done as far as I'm concerned, plus they've got names like Mechanix, Techno Dogs, Nameless Protagonist, TrafficKing, Shadow the Triad Trooper, Titanium Cranium and NERVE.  But aha, I made at least one of those up (and it wasn't Shadow the Triad Trooper). 

    Perhaps it's trying too much, there's a lot to take in with its dash/strike/shoot arena stuff, but for my money every aspect of the combat was legit.  If you try to focus on everything at once it's a bit like spinning plates, so don't; play it how you like it.  It gives you a vast number of perks and skill trees to manually upgrade but that's nowhere near as daunting a task as it first appears.  You're building the way you want to play the game, and there's not enough runway over the 5hr runtime for an average player to max out more than a couple of categories anyway.  Are you a dash player, do you focus on close melee combat, are firearms, shields or bullet time your thing, etc.  You can add and remove upgrades as you please, so if you get stuck you can readjust your tools and adopt a different approach.  

    The key word is carnage.  It's probably aiming for 'balletic carnage', and to some extent it's successful, but you've got to picture Alexander Godunov from Die Hard for a fitting approximation.  If you require you games to constantly evolve and keep you on your toes with variety as well as playability then perhaps you should look elsewhere.  Not only does this play similarly throughout, but most of the locations could be mistaken for any previous ones.  For me, this is fine - it's a 5-6hr game, and what could accurately be described as repetitive combat is also fundamental to the appeal.  It's rinse/repeat, sure, but it's short enough for the entire thing to be incredible, imo.  

    @Facewon, I absolutely properly loved it.  Better than Mr. Shifty for sure.  the visuals are superb, and while perhaps not as memorable as it could have been, the music does its job very well.  You know what it sounds like from one glance at a gif.

    I think at this stage I'd be willing to play absolutely anything Published by Devolver, it's starting to feel like they only make games I like.  [9]

    16. Guardian Heroes - XBLA (50 mins) 

    Quick run-through of the snazzed up Saturn classic.  Played as Han, who was my third choice character back in the day (4th if you count Selena).  It's a bit more fiddly than I remembered, especially when you're being juggled all over the shop, but there's a huge amount of depth in there for a scrolling beat 'em up.  The multi-plane gameplay works well and multiple routes add replayability.  Visuals are still superb, I know some purists hate pixel smoothing but it works for me.  There aren't many Saturn remakes around, and although the 2D titles are undoubtedly easier to port than the 3D ones, I still think the amount of work put in for a minor XBLA release was a little under appreciated at the time.  Music is still God tier too, some of those themes will never be topped for this sort of thing.  In fairness today's run was a [6], but the whole shebang is a solid [8] by modern standards and was a strong [9] in 1996. 

    17. Gigantic Army - Switch (40 minutes) 

    Well it scratched an itch anyway.  Budget Cybernator clone that genuinely succeeds in looking and feeling like a 16-bit Cybernator clone from early '93, for good or for ill.  Most of these types update things a smidge with save states, niftier controls, checkpoints and the like, but there are no such concessions here.  One life, three credits.  If you run out of continues it's the title screen for you sonny Jim.  It's pretty easy once you learn the stage layouts though, I managed to clock it by the skin of my teeth on my second full go.  Tip: the default weapon/sub weapon combo is shite, go for the missile and boss crippling big beam instead.  I enjoyed it, but with only six stages it would've been one to rent in 1993. [6] today, 79% way back when.  DO NOT PAY FULL PRICE. 

    18. Panzer Dragoon Orta - Xbox One (2hrs 25mins) 

    Um...so does the Bone make OG XBox games look better?  I played it at the time and it looked fantastic, easily one of the finest looking Xbox exclusives, but I assumed the double gen jump BC games would look a bit ropey thanks to HD displays/nostalgia trying to pull the wool over my eyes.  Visually, it's pretty astonishing for a near twenty year old game.  I'll move past the way it looks shortly, but wow, you could easily convince me that this is a 5yr old reboot.  Stunning.  I thought the Xbox One just emulated old games, surely there's some extra jiggery-pokery going on here?  Stunning.  It's a shame the same can't be said of the audio, specifically the music.  It aims for the Panzer Zwei Yamaha chiptunes style over the original's sweeping orchestral beat for beat Red Book score.  Unfortunately almost nothing here is memorable, which puts this firmly in Streets of Rage 3 territory as a pale imitation of former glories.  Yes, you could still place them as Panzer Dragoon tunes with a blindfold on, but they mostly sound like they've been rescued from the cutting room floor.   Back to the positives then.  It's far better than I gave it credit for at launch.  IIRC I played through it once at the time, thought it was decent but missing the magic of Zwei.  On reappraisal it's actually right up there with the very best rails shooters (Sin & Punishment 1&2, Starfox 64, Panzer Zwei).  The triple dragon system works well, as do the elements of PD Saga that were added to the boss battles (positioning via boosts to line up with damage zones/avoid certain attacks).  I'd have to play Zwei again to be sure, but although this is missing some of the grander set pieces from that (the audiovisual wallop of the best bosses is never quite replicated), this may even be a slightly better game.  I'm gonna give it a [9], I only intended to play the first couple of stages but I did the whole thing in one sitting.  

    19. Joe Danger 2: The Movie - Xbox One (2hrs) 

    I intended to play this on 360 after grabbing in it in some sale or other.  Better late than never anyway, and the backwards comp library is still very much appreciated, you big Microsofties. I like stuff like this.  Skill/reactions based memory test obstacle courses basically, part autorunner, part full fat minecart section and in this case, part Trials lite (or MotoHeroz, which was pretty much Red Lynx's own Trials lite).  This one's fine, but lacks the finesse of the best in the genre.  As always, there are only a limited amount of inputs, but the ducking and jumping never felt right to me, nor did the lane changing.  It all gets a bit busy on screen at times, which nerfs the purity somewhat.  I'd play this sort of thing with an LCD display tbh, so maybe I'm just shouting at clouds. It's all slightly too lightweight and imprecise anyway, so the 2hr runtime felt about right.  This one has a few play styles, which I don't remember from JD1 when I played on Vita (skis, jetpacks, cars and suchlike), which keeps it varied but of course brings in the dreaded feeling of some being better than others.  Good fun for the most part, but not great. [6]. Apparently so niche there aren't any gifs around, I thought this series was pretty well known.

    20. The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition - Xbox 360 (3hrs-ish)

    Inspired by the Games of the decade threads (which also inspired a re-run of Portal 2 I started yesterday), I realised I hadn't played through this since the SE was released.  Not much needs to be said about the game, it's unquestionably one of the best point and click adventures ever made and easily my favourite.  I'm not keen on the look of the remake, but at least the voice acting is decent.  I love the instant retro/redo button added to games like Wonderboy III and Halo: CE (MCCSE), it's just a shame that the style of the modern game is an affront to my eyes here.  I don't remember disliking the new look quite this much in 2009, but ten years on I hate it.  Not a problem though, was happy to lose the voice over in exchange for those sweet OG looks.  Insult sword fighting is still one of the greatest things ever to appear in a videogame, and the whole thing felt as close to revisiting a favourite novel as the medium can offer. [9] 

    21. Mario Maker 2 - Switch (4-5hrs) 

    I'd just played NSMBU when I bought this, so put on hold after a handful of stages.  It's obviously the wrong way to play MM, as I haven't even activated the online code yet, but the selection of courses that make up the story mode are mostly decent.  A handful are a chore, but the scattershot approach to level types keeps things fresh.  I enjoyed the car and shmup stages, but wasn't as keen on the slow-paced manual switch block puzzles.  Also, am I the only one sees ghost houses as the Mario equivalent of Sonic's underwater stages?  I always find them kinda laborious.  Anyway, it's ideal for handheld play - most courses will only take between two and five minutes for an average player to finish.  Decent, and I'll check out the Zelda stuff at a later date as the update trailer intrigued me.  As a challenge mode 2D Mario game it did what I wanted it to do. [7].  I'd imagine the full experience could threaten a full [10] if the ratings system for individual stages works well enough, and it wouldn't surprise me if many of the DIY stages available a year after launch are far better than the offerings pre-loaded on the cart.

    22. Ori & the Will of the Wisps - Xbox One (15hrs)

    Moon Studios have described this as Mario 3 to Blind Forest's Super Mario Bros, and they nearly pulled it off.  At one point in development they were probably well on course for a masterpiece.  Then they got lazy and all started working from home like a bunch of layabouts with one eye on daytime TV, presumably.  Joking aside, it's a shame they didn't quite succeed.  A few minor problems in amongst the grandeur - and a couple of whopping ones - clip its wings considerably.  What we're left with is probably more Mario Sunshine to Blind Forest's Mario 64, or any franchise you'd care to reach for where the sequel sticks to the same format, tries more but achieves less.  Super Monkey Ball 2, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, Perfect Dark Zero, Sonic Adventure 2 - you do yours!  

    Ori was a precision platformer masquerading as a Metroidvania, whereas this is more confident with its exploration and provides you with an abundance of tasks and side missions.  There's far more to reward the off-piste player, evidenced by my half-empty kit bag as the credits rolled.  It nods so heavily at Hollow Knight in a couple of places it's probably risking whiplash, but the systems it pinches are well implemented on the whole.  Back to the platforming though, it's mostly somewhere between good and very good, which is me purposefully damning it with faint praise - the assault course style design was tighter and more inventive in the original.  Yes, there are some excellent abilities to find in this that are very well used, but on the whole it lacks the masterclass of the The Blind Forest when scrutinised as a checkpoint platform game.  The chase sequences are back, despite what I read elsewhere, but of the three I can remember two were exhilarating as ever but far too easy and the third was an unwelcome difficulty spike.  Alongside the chase sequence we now have bosses, and as a boss man it broke my heart to discover that they're all poor.  Chalice described the combat as scrappy and I think that's a good description, but I also think it's a good fit for the game's standard stages.  Ignoring the bosses, the overhauled combat system works well once you're got a few weapons under/in your belt.  It all starts to fall apart when a screen-filler appears though.  It's an unashamedly difficult game, and the bosses will relentlessly destroy you while you try to juggle too many systems and muddle through the absolute carnage.  It's too much, they're too fiddly, and they're all too frustrating.  Case in point: I spent 10 minutes trying to chip away at one, before trying a different tact with an optional weapon I'd bought half a game ago.  I then proceeded to decimate the fucking thing in 25 seconds, which just felt wrong.  What if I hadn't bought that weapon?  Why is my standard kit so ineffective?  I'm sure there are many different ways to take them down, and I bet plenty of players smash them all over Youtube without breaking a sweat, but as someone with an affinity for level guardians based on over 30 years of 'being well into them', I'm here to tell you they goofed. 

    As expected, it's a stunningly beautiful game, sitting somewhere close to Cuphead as the best looking game ever for me.  I just love the whole aesthetic, truly glorious stuff.  The music is a win for me also, it probably just about edges out the original here too.  The story is punctuated by 'feel this now' moments, so it's manipulative to an extent, but as with the first game it feels like a good fit for what's on offer.  It's Dark Moomins via Princess Mononoke; it wants to give your heartstrings some gyp and it makes no attempt to disguise when it's trying its hardest.  I'm down with that, the whole thing is so beautiful it makes the ladlefuls of straight-ahead storytelling quite palatable.

    In terms of performance, Xbox One S owners can self-medicate with the game in its current form.  I found that when it starts to freeze, rebooting the game kept that particular problem at bay for an hour or so.  Annoying, but a workable fix.  The framerate still stutters too much for this sort of game though, it's no constant by any means, but there will be the odd occasion where a frame dip seems to gloss over the fact that you just pressed a button.  It's not game breaking, just heart breaking.  If you're an Ori fan don't follow my lead, wait for the inevitable full fix.

    Overall then, it's a very good game with fairly sizeable technical issues in its current state, some bold design decisions that paid off and a few that most certainly did not.  I've been down on it for chunks of the review, but it's still in with a chance to make the GotY list. [8]
    Joustus is served.
  • Placeholder.
    Joustus is served.
  • Vere, can you add ‘19-12’ to me in your OP?

    I’m hoping for much more this year. Hoping.
    "But enough talk. HAVE AT YOU!"
  • Eyrolling placeholder as two posts weren't enough last year.
    Joustus is served.
  • Elf noooo.
    Joustus is served.
  • Questor
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    No chance of getting to 52 but I'll give it a damn good go....

    List post here
  • hylian_elf wrote:
    Vere, can you add ‘19-12’ to me in your OP?

    I’m hoping for much more this year. Hoping.

    Of course!! Will keep updating it just wanted to get it started!
  • Completed it mate

    1. Horizon Chase Turbo (PS4)- I've been at this for over a year, but finially finished the World Tour. It's apparantly inspired by Top Gear, a game I gave never heard of so for me it was Legally Distinct From Outrun. There are a few tracks I'd probably have cut, but overally its a really strong Outrun clone, updated for the modern era. It was on Plus, so if you have a PS4 you probably have this, so give it a go.

    2. Knack (PS4) -  So I don't get why this game got so much grief. It's fine. 7 years on it's a bit difficult to distinguish what is now outdated design, and what was outdated at the time, but seriously, it's absolutely fine. And long! As a launch game I was expecting this to be quite short, but this is really quite long, and is designed to let you replay it. If I'd have picked up a PS4 with this at launch I certainly wouldn't have been feeling short changed.
  • Holdplacer, because will absolutely be needed
  • Completed

    1. Control [8]
    30 Dec-11 Jan

    This is an excellent and original AAA action adventure game with some minor issues that just bring the overall experience down a touch. I loved the location and the way the scenario allows for all kinds of reality bending events. The combat is also great fun for the most part, especially once you've unlocked a number of skills, with a great fluidity between the different moves. It encourages you to get in amongst the action, rather than hiding behind cover, and reeling in a hefty piece of scenery then chucking it back at an enemy never gets old.

    But still there are too many regular battles with enemy designs that could've been more interesting. The middle of the game certainly started to feel a little padded out. It's also annoying how quickly battles can go wrong when you've been doing well, as you're suddenly caught unawares by a projectile or fall off the edge of something while charging about the place. The health recovery system is a nice idea but sometimes just isn't convenient, and the checkpointing system is a bit weird, adding to the frustration. Other than that, special mention to the map for being next to useless half the time. And although performance on my base PS4 mostly wasn't too bad, the loading times became an issue.

    And yet, there's so much clever stuff to find and do, so many neat little touches or amusing characters, none of that can really spoil it. In the end, the main story is almost merely a way of introducing all the areas and powers and getting you used to how the place works. What I enjoyed most was doing all the side missions, many of which are better left till after the credits have rolled. It's here that things get more imaginative, and there are some proper bosses to take down, which were genuniely interesting and solid challenges. It's a brave game that hides so many of its best ideas, but it works in terms of gradually unravelling all the mysteries of the place. I was happy to just keep investigating and uncovering new stuff, to the point I ended up exhausting it all and getting the platinum trophy (rare for me these days).

    After all that, I think I'd really appreciate a sequel. Perhaps one that involved travelling around different places investigating reports of strange activity. There's certainly plenty of potential in the fiction to explore, and with a few tweaks to the systems the results could be very special.

    In progress

    Death Stranding

    Didn't finish

    River City Girls

    To Play

  • My previous years are 17-54, 18-30, 19-41.
  • I'm in too. Last year I managed a 19-26, which is probably about my limit.

    I realised I had two extra in the bag that weren't in my list as i played through the first two Room games while over in Tenerife with a sick wife.
  • Placeholder as I have such a huge backlog and keep playing games as a service like battlefield v.
  • My previous totals were...

    2017: 75
    2018: 78
    2019: 86
    Joustus is served.
  • Aye, I'm in.

    A measly 17 last year for the OP, Vere.
    GT: WEBBIN5 - A life in formats: Sinclair ZX81>Amstrad CPC 6128>Amiga 500>Sega Megadrive>PC>PlayStation 2>Xbox>DS Lite>Xbox 360>Xbox One>Xbox One X
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    Elf noooo.

    You could just leave your placeholder posts as a list, and link to the write-ups later in the thread.
  • I probably should, but I'm unintentionally awkward when it comes to breaking habits.  Plus I don't know how to link to certain posts, just pages.

    Edit: And I quite like posting half a review on the train in the OP, safe in the knowledge no-one reads it there anyway and I can come back to it later.
    Joustus is served.
  • See the time/date on each post? It’s a link to that post. Or, if you look click on your name in the banner, and go to the ‘comments’ tab, the word ‘permalink’ on each one is the same thing.
  • So it does, cheers.  Didn't realise the time/date was clickable.
    Joustus is served.
  • acemuzzy
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    Acemuzzy (aka murray200)
    3DS - 4613-7291-1486

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    1) 7 Billion Humans - scored [8]
    2) Golf Peaks - scored [6]
    3) Baba Is You - scored [9] (preliminary)
    4) 36 Fragments of Midnight - scored [4]
    5) Midnight Deluxe - scored [3]
    6) Unpuzzle
    7) Control
    8 ) Donut County
    9) Ori 2
    10) Yoku
    Far Cry 5
    A Short Hike
    Mini Metro

    Coming soon: Stuff from the Fiscal Prudence thread (here), DQXI, FC5, Sundered, Minit, Mosaic Maze, Light Fall, Induction, Four Sided Fantasy, Tetrobot, DLC Quest, Gorogoa, Shuggy, Sokobond, Jazzpunk, Hellblade, Ashen, Below, Gunpoint, The Shivah, Rive, Quantum Break, Slay the Spire, Into the Breach, Spiderman, Hitman, AC Origins, Dying Light, FFXV, Diablo III, The Surge, Rayman Legends, COD IW, Nier, Nier Automata, Little Nightmares, Rime, DkS 3 DLC, GoW4, Sunset Overdrive, Bayonetta 1 & 2, Resi 4, Pandora's Tower, Downwell, Monkey Island 1 & 2 Remastered, Grim Fandango Remastered, Day of the Tentacle Remastered,Trine 1-3, Catherine, Rogue Legacy, Saints Row: Gat out of Hell, Sleeping Dogs, Binding of Isaac, Gravity Rush, Stealth Inc 2, Transistor, Broforce, Magicka 1&2, Kentucky Route Zero, 1001 Spikes, Remember Me, Catherine, MGS V/GZ, Danganronpa, DmC, Dust, From Dust, Gears of War (1-4), God of War, Hitman (early ones), Splinter Cell, I Am Alive, Outlast,  SotC HD, Styx, Thief, The Crew, Ys, Yakuza, XCOM, Suikoden, TWD (s2), The Evil Within, The Banner Saga, Sniper Elite, Richard & Alice, Hydrophobia, Gunpoint, Else Heart.Break(), Door Kickers, Malicious, Castevania: Lord of Shadows, No Time to Explain, Apotheon, Capsized

    1) Miss Pym Disposes
    2) The Plotters
    Norse mythology

    1) Iron Man 2
    2) The Incredible Hulk
    3) Parks & Recreation (s1)
    4) Thor
    5) Avengers: Assemble
    6) Iron Man 3
    7) Thor: Dark World
    8 ) Captain America: Winter Soldier
    9) Guardians of the Galaxy
    10) Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
    11) You (s1)
    12) You (s2)
    13) Parks & Recreation (s2)
    14) Curb Your Enthusiasm (s10)
    15) Parasite
    16) Gravity
    17) The Expanse (s4)
    18) Sunny (s6)
    19) Better Call Saul (s5)
    20) Argo
    21) Curb your Enthusiasm (s10)

    My 2017 link: here (59 completed, [394], average [6.68]; 25 books; 33 shows/movies)
    My 2018 link: here (52 completed, [342], average [6.58]; 18 books; 26 shows/movies)
    My 2019 link: here (15 games, [TBD], average [TBD], only 7 books :-|, 49 shows/movies)
  • acemuzzy
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    Acemuzzy (aka murray200)
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    Moot_Geeza wrote:
    My previous totals were... 
    2017: 75 
    2018: 78 
    2019: 86
    You got issues.  Mate.
  • You have 2 posts in a row there anyway now
  • acemuzzy
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    Acemuzzy (aka murray200)
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    OK, post is now underway.  Vere - only 15 for me in 2019, if you want that in your OP.  I'm gonna try to be more organised this year.  Might even try to list my PoS in some kind of "to be tackled in" order, to avoid choice paralysis the whole time.  I also need to actually mark stuff and get it into the Just Completed thread... had a good habit of that a year ago, but it went as I lost my 52gpy mojo.

    I also need to read more and watch less.  Something I'll endeavour to do in 23 movies' time.
  • Nina
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    12 completed last year, let's see what I can do this year.

    1 - Dragon Quest IX Just completed
    2 - The Gardens Between

    Fun little puzzle game, I had to look up two puzzles as I just wasn't seeing it, but apart from those the rest felt solid. Looks good, and some fun island design. It's short, but it shouldn't have been longer, this was a nice experience.
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