52 Games a Year 2021 Edition/ Game Record 2021:
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    Let’s go again!’

    Welcome to the 2021 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!!!!!!
    Moot in 20 - 111!!!!
    Retro in 20 - 52!!

    Others results in past Years:
    Verecocha: 17-38, 18-22, 19-29 (STILL Pathetic)
    Hylian Elf: 17-25, 18-13, 19-12, 20-19
    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


    Narrowly missed out last year...and the last 3 years...So I’m gonna need more than luck BUT I’M MORE DETERMINED THAN EVER!!!

    Really though, just a good place to record your games, see what you enjoyed and remember why. Big help in looking at your end of the year Faves.

    ( Will update results and hall of fame ASAP! Just wanted it up and running before I was KILLED!)
  • 1.Godfall - 10 Hours - 6/10 - PS5

    Glad this is over...it wasn’t awful but just so many pieces poorly executed, I imagine it’s much better in a group but as an SP experience little bits became so obvious.

    It’s a nice little hack and slash with a passable story and a decent enough mix of weapons and enemies. The environments are used over and over again and they’re deceptively small. It’s just the usual kill group of enemies, run here and kill another group, then a boss, for a good 8-10 hours. There’s nothing more to it. Which is no bad thing but just wish there was a little more.

    There are a number of weapon systems and layer upon layer of additions to those weapons, I stopped trying to understand after a couple of hours and just got on with what I already knew. There’s certainly a lot of depth here but I couldn’t possibly tell you if it really added anything to it as I just found it over the top.

    At the end of the day it was a run and slash over and over that whilst it was pretty it was completely over the top looks wise and completely oversaturated when it comes to effects. Well worth a quick run through if in and around £20, but the quintessential launch window game.


    2.Gears 5 Hivebusters - 4 Hours - 10/10 - Xbox Series X

    That was awesome! Nice bit of campaign DLC with a new squad and a new mission within the Gears universe. Playing as Scorpio squad you take on the swarm and a big badass bird that spits acid that Colonel Hoffman wants to weaponise!!

    Same cover to cover Gears gameplay with some new added abilities which don’t detract at all from the norm. Corridor shooter so none of the open world stuff, just battle to battle in the most gorgeous game ever.

    Nothing new here just more of the awesome same. Real shame more people haven’t played this as it’s an ace bit of DLC and part of Gamepass. 10/10 as it’s just a perfect short shot of Gears Campaign, nothing more and nothing less.

    3.Halo Wars 2 Spearbreaker DLC - 3 Hours - 6/10 - Xbox Series X

    Really wanna polish of the rest of this so did the first DLC element today. It wasn’t bad by any means but the score reflects it just being ok. Not bad just ok.

    No Spartans involved in these missions which always sucks a little but I just took my time and built a MASSIVE army then slowly destroyed EVERYTHING! Which I always find fun.

    4.Cyberpunk 2077 - 44 Hours - 10/10 - Xbox Series X

    I was going to give this a 9 not a 10, but I absofuckingloutely loved this game. Only met a few tiny tech flaws but in spite of them it drew me in completely, that pushes it passed a 10 in my eyes. Had me really thinking about pretty much every choice as I really struggled as to which one was right for my V. Really made me think about the development of my build and how I wanted to play. Really enjoyed the main story as well as the vast majority of the supplementary story lines and characters. And I’m a total lover of the genre and for me it was nailed.

    I may have overused fast travel and I may have played it a bit too close to a thorough FPS when there are plenty more options, but that’s exactly how I wanted to play it and I love that I could just play it like that and not really feel like I was missing out.

    Will add more but I love that though bits are broken it’s still one of the finest games I’ve played. Loved it. 10/10.

    5.Halo: CE Anniversary - 6 Hours - 10/10 - Xbox Series X

    Going through the books again so couldn’t help but want a quick CE playthrough, and it just never fails.

    It’s not just nostalgia it’s just so perfectly balanced in every way with so many ways to approach every battle, every firefight, every stealth melee section. Even now 20 years on there’s different things that you can throw at the Covenant and then the flood.

    Still just perfect fun for the family, 10/10.

    6.Destiny 2: Beyond Light - 6 Hours - 5/10 - Xbox Series X

    Destiny just gets worse and worse for me. After worshipping the original and putting serious time in on this sequel it’s just become something else entirely.

    Was it always like this and I just didn’t see it? The grind is beyond grind beyond grind. And it’s all just the same stuff it’s been for years. All this is of course well known but christ, just didn’t have any fun with that at all. The new sub-class was seriously awful and the only one I’ve ever immediately thought I don’t want to use this unless I have to. And I had to over and over again.

    Yeah the same great gunplay is there, but most of the weapons are same old, same old as are the enemies, the environments, everything. Hope it’s the last time I get drawn in.

    7.Assassins Creed: Valhalla - 65 Hours - 8/10 - Xbox Series X

    Strange one this as I’m not sure how much I enjoyed it vs how much I wanted to enjoy it. Easy stuff first, it’s stunning, like really stunning. Think I’ve played all the next gen stuff across both and this has impressed the most. The countryside is absolutely beautiful, the detail is incredible. The sky was forever making me stop to have a look and the light through the trees never got old. The weather effects deserve a mention too. Really is a stunner. Sound design was all of that too...just not writing it again.

    Game world was a step up for me over the last two as it did feel tighter, and a smaller map was much easier and more fun to navigate. Didn’t have to travel for a bloody age between fast travel points, sometimes I just wanna get on with it. I enjoyed the story in the fact that I enjoyed the Viking theme, enjoyed the complexities of the brothers etc and their warring and pillaging. Some of the characters and story arcs were excellent. The odd thing here was the inclusion of the Assassins Creed at all, maybe I missed something but it never tied in what part if any of it played in the crazy sci-fi over story, they did with the last two, so though it’s mental it made some sense, but this just threw in 10 minutes of the future stuff making it even more pointless.

    I enjoyed the story, the characters, building a community, the weapon and armour upgrade system was brilliant, it looked stunning so why aren’t I sure? I don’t really know, the combat didn’t feel quite right, and when you’re slaying hundreds of enemies that’s not good. It felt as if it was pointing towards a big ending with you collecting kingdoms fealty to you for when you need call upon them, but when you have them all it just...ends. I just don’t get it. Whilst I enjoyed it though it felt a little long it’s just left me kind of cold as it never really went anywhere or meant anything. I’m a huge fan of the new Assassins Creeds, and this could have been the best, but it ended up leaving me more...confused than disappointed.

    Still gets an 8 as there was so much good, but such a wasted opportunity to be the best Creed.

    8.Halo 2 Anniversary - 6 Hours - 9/10 - Xbox Series X

    Love the chunky militaristic art direction of this Anniversary edition, same with the sound work, seems to stand alone in the series as a slightly different aesthetic. Absolutely love the game but...I only ever play the Chiefs levels after one competition to unlock them all as I hate playing as the Arbiter. Absolutely hate it. Cheating on Chief, hate the weapons, and the levels just feel devoid of character without Cortana and the marines chat etc. Always think if it like MGS2 and playing as Raiden. So strange to have such iconic characters and make you play as others.

    Still, incredible game and whilst nowhere near my favourite Halo it was miles ahead of the competition at the time, and still so now.

    9.The Medium - 8 Hours - 8/10 - Xbox Series X

    I really enjoyed this. Suffered the same issues all games of this type do in being a little limited in scope by its genre, but the story was enjoyable and genuinely had me changing my mind on what was going on right up until the end. Had a couple of jump scares but aside from that created an uncomfortable atmosphere throughout. Looked stunning in places but always had good visuals. Great sound work. Good gameplay but also didn’t last too long so kept a good pace throughout. Another ridiculous little Gamepass deal. Highly recommended.

    10.Little Nightmares 2 - 6 Hours - 6/10 - Xbox Series X

    Gotta admit I found this a little disappointing. Really enjoyed the first and whilst this is a good game it certainly didn’t have as big an impact as the first. More of the same certainty isn’t a bad thing, but it didn’t seem like it really tried to change or improve anywhere. Though it’s not my usual genre so maybe I expected too much? Still, quite enjoyed the storytelling, especially the latter section even though they stretched it out a little far. Some very annoying gameplay where you need control a torch and movement at once and it feels very fiddly and not at all like you’re ever in real control. Decent puzzles but never really a challenge.

    I dunno I wanted more but perhaps it’s just a decent game and I should just accept that like I would if it was a 3rd person shooter?

    11.Ailment - 3 Hours - 6/10 - Xbox Series X

    This was ace. Massive games drought and no idea how I came across this and it’s sequel but just a good fun twin stick shooter with some fun Sci-fi references throughout. Aces fun.

    12.Endurance - 4 Hours - 6/10 - Xbox Series X

    See above but just more of the same. Little bit more added to the mix but doesn’t really add to it, still a fun shooter.

    13.Halo 3 - 7 Hours - 9/10 - Xbox Series X

    Gotta admit, I’m the biggest Halo fan I know and I just didn’t enjoy this as much as I remember. Maybe it’s aged in some way or another but I definitely enjoyed 2 more after recently playing that. Can’t put my finger on exactly why, and it’s still one of the best FPS’s ever, but lots felt a little dull and lacking character somewhat. Think it might just be because the Brutes are just lacking as an enemy in comparison to Elites. Plus...I missed Cortana.

    14.Mafia: Definitive Edition - 12 Hours - 7/10 - Xbox Series X

    Had never played an entry in Mafia series but found the 3 at a good price so thought why not. And I was very surprised at how good this first entry was. Very simple GTA clone, simply a campaign with no side story nonsense, an obvious but good story with the usual Mafia type characters, simple gameplay and a good shooter cover system. It was simply an enjoyable straight forward Mafia romp without all the crap stuck on and icons all over the map. Looked great which was an added bonus too.

    15.Mafia 2: Definitive Edition - 10 Hours - 5/10 - Xbox Series X

    This was rather disappointing after the first. Everything took a downturn. The story, characters, setting, added sides, everything. Just another me too GTA clone that had disappointingly decided to try to be GTA instead of stick to its own strengths. It wasn’t absolutely awful and I still finished it but it certainly wasn’t something I’d advise anyone to play. As the series doesn’t really follow on in terms of story abs shares few characters but of no real importance, I certainly wouldn’t bother with this one. Boring and miserable.

    16.Mafia 3: Definitive Edition - 12 Hours - 10/10 - Xbox Series X

    Now onto 3...Absofuckingloutely incredible game, the story, setting, characters, gameplay, soundtrack, cutscenes, everything, absolutely everything. Easily the best GTA-Like game, surpassing every single GTA for me. And that ending!! How has Mafia III become one of my favourite games ever? Not in a million years would I have thought, That was fucking awesome. Couldn’t recommended this game any more highly. Returns to the tight story of the first game and whilst there’s a couple of side options they don’t show all over the map or add to anything. Suffers the same problem as all these games that really it’s very rinse and repeat in terms of go here, shoot everything to shit, then go there and do the same, but such are games, and the story means that you’re more than happy to do it to get MOAR! Absolutely excellent.

    17. Outriders - 15 Hours - 7/10 - Xbox Series X

    Though it took days for me to even boot the game, this turned into a riot. 3rd Person cover shooter that does nothing new, nothing out of the ordinary, doesn’t do anything incredible or spectacular, in fact, the cover system is a little worse for having it over 2 inputs instead of one. But...it’s ace. Crisp shooting, some really fun weaponry and armour, and some really intense firefights that required a lot of movement and thinking instead of just hiding behind one bit of scenery and waiting for enemies to pop up. Story was enjoyable, Avatar on steroids really, and the characters were fun if uninspired. All in all a good little shooter that I had a lot of fun with.

    18. Mass Effect - 23 Hours - 8/10 - Xbox Series X

    Haven’t played this since it’s original release and obviously it has benefitted much from its remaster, at its unchanged core it’s still such an awesome game and is worthy of the ‘blew me away’ memory I have of it. The characters, setting, story, all such sci-fi tropes that just work perfectly together and somehow though they’re all cliched they feel fresh and right.

    I went with ManShep again as he’s my dude and couldn’t let him down, and we rolled over the galaxy again doing the majority of the game, getting it on with Ashley again as that chemistry is tight, being all paragon as we feel guilty if we bad, and kicked Sarens ass and it was DOPE!

    Onto number 2 again at the expense of Resi and Returnal.

    19. Mass Effect 2 - 30 Hours - 10/10 - Xbox Series X

    This is just so close to perfect it’s incredible. Everything is better than the first in my opinion, it’s like everything got turned up to 10. Even the most boring mini-game of planet scanning is somehow addictive and has you scouring for resources you know you’ll never ever need. Ended up with tons of everything.

    Story, characters, action, choices, everything, everything is ace, the Illusive man is awesome, Mirandas ass is incredible, just can’t fault it really. Absolutely loved every second.

    Onto number 3 at the expense of Resi, Ratchet & Clank, and Returnal.

    20. Mass Effect 3 - ?? Hours - 10/10 - Xbox Series X

    Seriously, the only thing wrong this game is that it doesn’t let you put holster your weapon when you’re not in combat whilst on a mission. That’s it. That’s completely it. And how stupid is that that it’s the only thing I can think of?

    A few little changes from the previous game that weren’t a problem but somehow refines the perfection even more. In my opinion it’s literally perfect. The perfect culmination of the series. It’s just so fucking awesome that I almost feel like it can’t be real as just no game is THAT good.

    Outstanding, I can’t remember how good I thought it was the first time around but simply not good enough. Thank god I got to worship it again.

    21. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - Hours - 6.5 - Playstation 5

    Stunning visuals and awesome sound work don't save this game from being wholly average. How anyone said this was the best Playstation Exclusive since Bloodbourne I do not know.

    Gameplay average, story average, characters decent, weapons average and spending time levelling and upgrading them does very little when I expected something worthy. The majority of the levels are reasonably boring and then you have to revisit them.

    Now this isn't a bad game at all, I just expected more from all the amazing scores, and because of the other issue, the price. At £70 I want something that turns out to be pretty awesome, Returnal a good example as its complex, intricate, clever, rewarding but evil, and to me at least reasonably original. This on the other hand is a good £30/40 game, but for £70 its just not good enough.

    I know that's not the game nor the developers choice/fault but that doesn't matter, twice the price it should be for the package you get.

    22. Resident Evil Village - 9.5 Hours - 9 - Xbox Series X

    Great follow up to 7. Great little story with lots of creative license meaning you end up facing off against lycans, zombie cyborgs, vampires, great set of enemies at the ground level with the usual twisted nutter boss encounters that all become giant biomass freaks. Very much a mix of 4 and 7 in terms of lots of action and encounters with your weapons dude increasing your weapons locker, with a load of new little bits an pieces like a food menu in which you can find different bits of the recipes to fill out to benefit health, stamina etc.

    Sound design and visuals are top notch, game looked incredible, be nice to see if dropping the last gen machines for the next instalment will further visuals even more.

    Can’t really think of anything I didn’t like about this though the ending could have been a little better. Another great entry in the series.

    23. Returnal - 18 Hours - 10/10 - PS5

    Game of the gen so far. Hands down. So easily it’s unbelievable. This game is just such an incredible experience. Loved everything about it.

    The crazy story about god knows what, guilt, shame, different Selene's across different dimensions etc etc, wonderfully and so interestingly handled. The world in its different biomes, complex and multi-layered yet very simple and a joy to navigate. The intricacies of every parasite, weapon, malfunction, item all forever manipulating the balance if your game making you extremely powerful and safe one minute to completely ineffective and unable to do the most basic things the next for fear of death and losing that perfect run, sublime.

    Looks good if not great, but the sound is where it excels as it’s design is awesome. Crystal clear for each and every element of the game and keeps you on your toes at all times keeping you aware of everything going on in your world around you.

    Pretty much the perfect game when you get into the flow of things and accept progress is risk and all you can do is either hope to find the perfect combination of all the delegate bits, or balance what you can with what little and crazy pieces you can find. I absolutely loved it and I’m gutted it’s over.

    24. Resident Evil Village - 7 Hours - 10 - Xbox Series X

    With lack of other things to play and not picking up initially with Deaths Door I thought I’d start Village again on hard and man it’s just so good. New game plus which isn’t often a thing now so it was nice to play with all the toys I’d worked for, but the scaling of the game means it doesn’t make it a breeze just a good fun challenge.

    Pushed this upto a 10 as it was a bit more challenging but even more action like. Will try Deaths Door again but I’d put money on my next complete being this on Extreme difficulty as supposedly it racks up more but gives you even more toys to play with.

    This is the best since 4.

    25. Resident Evil Village - 5 Hours - 20/10 - Xbox Series X

    Knew it…Extreme with a few New Game+ items. Maybe just as good as 4. What a game. This is how it should be played, mentally hard waves of crazy enemies but a crazy arsenal to combat them. Every encounter becomes a crazy little war and I absofuckingloutely loved it. Will give it a rest now but go back to mop up some of the crazier achievements as it’s totally worth it.

    26. Marvel Avengers - 10 Hours - 5/10 - Xbox Series X

    First this year I’ve not actually finished but that I’m really not going to. Which is a shame as it’s not a terrible game, just repetitive beyond belief but just going on and on and on…It looks nice, plays nice, the sound design is excellent. And I’d imagine a kid would get a hell of a lot out of it as theres a lot in the package, but…it’s just boring after a while mashing hit and listening to the ‘story’.

    27.Hades - 16 Attempts - 10/10 - Xbox Series X

    What a game. Have been awaiting its arrival on the Xbox for some time and it was worth every second. What a game. Simple but hugely complex. Short but worthy of play after play with so many extra options especially upon your first completion to completely change the play.

    Love the art style, the story and how it plays out little by little as you get deeper into the game, it’s just a work of art.

    Easy 10/10.

    28.Aliens Fireteam - 6 Hours - 7/10 - Xbox Series X

    Did exactly what I wanted. It’s like playing the action scenes in Aliens. And I didn’t mind it was that over and over…and over again as it’s what I expected. To shoot thousands of Xeno’s whilst making my way through some kind of storyline. Shootings good, the sound effects are to die for. The motion tracker, rifle and Xeno scream never get old.

    Didn’t offer anything different, crazy or new. Just good old 3rd person shooting, just an old style arcade shooting game. Will pick up again when some mates have picked it up for some mp fun as it’s a tough battle and the harder difficulties with AI are impossible. It’s a real
    Challenge which made it even more fun.

    A solid 7.

    29.The Ascent - 10 Hours - 8/10 - Xbox Series X

    Great game but could’ve been so much more with suck little change.

    The good, looks stunning. Sound effects and track are great. The world is stunning and the depth in the detail is sublime. Best Cyber Punk world I’ve seen built. It plays smoothly and I didn’t encounter a single issue, like butter. The gameplay is simple but effective and the gunplay is simple but chunky, aggressive and never got old for me. The number of weapons and gadgets means your approach to combat has a lot of depth and it’s upto you.

    The bad, the script could and should’ve been much better, especially because the story is actually quite interesting if hugely under developed and very much rushed at the end. Most common problem associated with the game is the story, considering the world they’ve built it’s such a shame they didn’t fill it with a rich story through narrative, such a disappointment.

    BUT, it’s still great to play. Looks great, sounds great, and well deserving of a sequel with better story direction and implementation. Great little game.

    30.12 Minutes - 5 Hours - 5/10 - Xbox Series X

    Really tough one this as there was so much that could’ve been done better and it simply wasn’t intuitive in any sense but I still got a little enjoyment from it and I didn’t hate the story like many others.

    Not a fan of the point and click style and really didn’t think it needed to be implemented here, and with the need for quickly achieving things when the loops get busy it’s easy to slip and miss opportunities with said controls. The story and loops whilst interesting are a little daft and are very difficult to work out without a guide as it doesn’t feel natural to guess or attempt the next steps. The only celeb voice addition that’s worthy is Dafoe as the other two I would never have guessed in a million years. But, it’s a little different, it’s a little odd, it’s interesting, has a lot of odd but fun layers to laugh at, and again it’s part of Gamepass and feels like another thing I’d have missed out on entirely had it not been for the service.

    All in all it was an interesting if flawed way to spend a few hours.

    31. Alan Wake Remaster - 10 Hours - 7/10 - Xbox Series X

    I remembered this as being a standout game during the 360 gen and whilst it’s aged well, particularly the mad story, the genre really has moved forward on and towards the end I was looking forward to the finishing line.

    Isn’t the most impressive remaster and doesn’t look like a lot of work has gone into it, the cutscenes in particular are very jarring and the frame rate in them is all over the place. Alan’s new face just doesn’t feel right either, not sure if that’s a memory thing or a little claymation looking. But the movement is ok, action is ok, just so much of it and so, so samey samey. Only two types of enemies and said enemies can just spawn behind you at any time which is always really irritating.

    However it’s still a worthy play, think I got through it in about 10 hours and you can feel the love and work that’s gone into it, the story, presentation and extra narrative and entertainment additions in the radio and TV shows are always worth a watch.

    Hopefully a sequel will get a green light and much more can be made of Mr Wake and his stories.

    32. Crysis 2 Remaster - 9 Hours - 6/10 - Xbox Series X

    I remembered this as being an extremely good straight line FPS campaign…and I wasn’t wrong. Simple, slick, empowering and though not very original the story is reasonably engaging.

    I much prefer this sequel as the original just feels like a rather big empty playground that just left me a bit…bored at times. This was much more streamlined and focused on the combat mechanics which even now are good fun and let you decide how each engagement is gonna go. Though every time for me it’s stealth until I eventually have to just blow everything up.

    It’s aged reasonably well as a straight line FPS and of course the visuals have aged and the ‘remastering’ hasn’t set my world on fire, they and the sound aren’t too bad and still have some quality.

    All in all just a decent campaign with a barely noticeable lick of paint. Does exactly what it says on the tin. If you enjoyed it at release I dare say you’ll enjoy it again…

    33. Crysis 3 Remaster - 6 Hours - 7/10 - Xbox Series X

    Pretty much the same as above but…a little bit better. Tighter campaign in every way.

    34. Halo 4 - 6 Hours - 10/10 - Xbox Series X

    Hate to say it, but still my favourite Halo SP. Played through them all a number of times but this just has it all for me, and god is it a looker. Of course the Series X will be doing a lot to make it look as good as possible but how they got this performance out of a 360 I don’t know. It’s beautiful.

    Potentially it’s because having read all the books I know who all the ‘new’ characters are and their backstory as well as all the little plot devices, but even so I still think I’d love it. The levels are perfect, the weapons, the movement, even the Prometheans everyone dislikes, they all do it for me. And did I mention it was stunning?

    Plus Cortana looks great. What more could you want? Just 5 left and that’s all of them again this year. What a series.

    35. Halo 5 - 6 Hours - 8/10 - Xbox Series X

    So actually…this was much better than I remembered. I never had the hate for it that everyone else did, but I didn’t remember it very fondly, but, it’s actually still a very good campaign with some great sections. Yeah there’s some low points but really it’s not that bad at all. Where they went wrong was the story as it’s very reliant on everyone having read the books which the vast, vast majority haven’t. Very odd decision. But gotta admit I really did enjoy the run through and I don’t think it’d come last in my Halo list.

    36. Forza Horizon 4 - ? Hours - 8/10 - Xbox Series X

    ‘Completed’ more in the fact I’ve moved on to 5. If I’m honest I don’t really think I ever got into 4, always touched on it here and there but never gave it the hours it deserved. Just looks like ‘icon soup’ when you return to it after a while and it ends up over facing me.

    Really want to put more time and effort into 5 and I’ve definitely started as I want to go on.

    37. CoD Vanguard - 9 Hours - 8/10 - Xbox Series X

    Another great CoD campaign that’s a big blockbuster movie you play through. Enjoy the CoD campaign every year but was a little wary of going back to face the Nazis as I prefer the modern/futuristic entries but this was a good one. Felt less heavy, serious and gritty and a little more positive and fun, though I doubt that’s really what a game based in and around WW2 should necessarily feel like, it made it more enjoyable…ok maybe that all sounds wrong today of all days in particular.

    Anyway, campaign has you play as a few different characters as part of a Vanguard team. Throws in some nice if gimmicky ‘abilities’ for each of them which don’t really add much but with each character it chucks in a little history you might not know about which had me reading in to some elements to get a little more detail which is always nice, not just another beach landing or attack on Berlin.

    Did nothing overtly new or special, just another great explosive campaign that looked and sounded absolutely gorgeous. A good 8.

    38. Death Stranding Directors Cut - 44 Hours - 6/10 - PS5

    Thank god that’s over again. Yes it’s beautiful to look at. Yes the sound design is terrific. Yes it can be very moving and tear jerking at times and I cried again at a number of them. But fuck me if it isn’t a boring pile of over complicated shite for long, long stretches. And I don’t know if they made Lou a more whingey baby in this one or it just felt like it, but during my original PS4 play-through I can’t remember thinking ‘Would you just shut it!’ whereas this time…I’m not sure why I wanted to play it through a second time but it is a little love hate relationship as so much of it is good…but so much of it is absofuckingloutely awful. Glad that’s over.

    37. Halo Infinite - ? Hours - 10/10 - Xbox Series X

    Straight to the top of Halo Campaigns for me, giving you both the intense indoor firefights but now a huge version of the second mission from CE, Halo. The Halo Combat Loop/30 seconds over and over never gets old, add in the awesome grapple combat features, just makes Halo combat its finest ever. You can say the ring isn’t hugely populated with a myriad of things but what’s there makes sense and more than makes it worth discovering, and if you don’t want to you can just go from one level to the next and have your normal Halo campaign mixed in with a tiny bit of travel from each starting point.

    The weapons, vehicles, enemies are probably the best mix yet and whilst the AI doesn’t make that jump you’d always wish it would in a Halo game it’s the same as you see anywhere these days and it looks like there’s gonna have to be something out of the blue that drives it forward. Feels like there’s been no significant jump since the time of C.E or Fear.

    Personally I loved the story, it’ll help I read all the books and love the universe but I didn’t think it was tough to follow or too weak to care about which I’ve heard a lot of.

    The extra ‘RPG’ mechanics are a nice addition but really can again be ignored depending on how you wanna play it. I upgraded everything but only really used two of the additions, and now going through it on legendary maybe others will become invaluable but I’m not so sure. I like the additions though, searching for them and finding other secrets and bits and pieces scattered over the ring was aces too.

    I loved the FOB’s, HVT’s and extra missions as they just opened the world too, offered some great weapon customisations which I then used exclusively and they added a little more narrative too.

    Co-op would have been nice but considering it’ll be played for years there’ll always be reasons fo go back. Forge I’m not interested in anyway. And a level select in an open world? Is there many of those? I can understand peoples disappointment but maybe I’m lucky that I’m not that bothered, especially when the rest is that good.

    Loved it. Absolutely loved it. My game of the year.
  • Full Reviews List:
    1. Super Mario Sunshine (Switch) - 7/10
    2. The G.G. Shinobi (Game Gear) - 8/10
    3. Castlevania Legacy of Darkness (N64) - 7/10
    4. Super Castlevania IV (SNES) - 10/10
    5. Trouble Shooter (Mega Drive) - 6/10
    6. No More Heroes (Switch) - 6/10
    7. Bowser's Fury (Switch) - 8/10
    8. Wave Race: Blue Storm (GameCube) - 9/10
    9. Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening (Switch) - 9/10
    10. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (SNES) - 8/10
    11. Resident Evil 3 (PS4) - 9/10
    12. Sega Rally (Saturn) - 8/10
    13. Rastan (SMS) - 7/10
    14. Mega Man 2 (NES) - 9/10
    15. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) - 10/10
    16. Super Hydorah (Switch) - 8/10
    17. Mafia Definitive Edition (PS4) - 8/10
    18. Power Blade (NES) - 8/10
    19. Double Dragon (Arcade) - 4/10
    20. Double Dragon II The Revenge (Arcade) - 4/10
    21. Super Star Wars (SNES) - 6/10
    22. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (PS4) - 7/10
    23. Rock N' Roll Racing (SNES) - 8/10
    24. Aero Fighters (SNES) - 6/10
    25. Rushing Beat (SNES) - 5/10
    26. Rushing Beat Ran (SNES) - 5/10
    27. Rushing Beat Syura (SNES) - 5/10
    28. Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure (MD) - 6/10
    29. Contra Hard Corps (MD) - 9/10
    30. Ridge Racer Type 4 (PS) - 9/10
    31. The Huntdown (Switch) - 8/10
    32. Vendetta (Arcade) - 7/10
    33. Metroid Dread (Switch) - 9/10
    34. Mario Golf Super Rush (Switch) - 5/10
    35. Tetris Effect Connected (Switch) - 10/10

    Thats me for 2021, results below with 2020 results in parentheses.

    35 (61) games completed for the year.

    Average rating: 7.3 (6.8 )
    Total time played: 202hrs 50mins (234hrs 33mins)
    Average time per game: 5hrs 47mins (3hrs 51mins)

    Average rating by format:
    1. NES - 9
    1. GC - 9
    3. PS4 - 8
    3. SAT - 8
    3. GG - 8
    3. PS - 8
    7. Switch - 7.8
    8. N64 - 7
    8. MS - 7
    8. MD - 7
    11. SNES - 6.6
    12. Arcade - 5

    Games played by format:
    1. Switch - 9
    2. SNES - 8
    3. PS4 - 3 
    3. NES - 3
    3. MD - 3
    3. Arcade - 3
    7. N64 - 1
    7. GC - 1 
    7. GG - 1
    7. PS - 1 
    7. MS - 1
    7. Saturn - 1

    Format by time played:
    1. Switch - 90hrs 58mins
    2. PS4 - 56hrs 25mins
    3. SNES - 22hrs 30mins
    4. NES - 8hrs 32mins
    5. N64 - 7hrs
    6. MD - 5hrs
    7. GG - 3hrs
    8. GC - 2hrs 15mins
    9. MS 1hr 30mins
    10. PS - 2hrs
    11. Arcade - 1hr 20mins
    12. SAT 20mins

    2020's results/reviews
    オレノナハ エラー ダ
  • 1. Gears of War - Hivebusters campaign [8]
    2. Super Punch-Out!! - 93%
    3. Bud Spencer & Terrence Hill: Slaps & Beans - [6]
    4. Cadence of Hyrule - Symphony of the Mask [6]
    5. Black Future '88 [7]
    6. A Short Hike [8]
    7. Halo:CE Anniversary Edition [9]
    8. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Classic Mode [6]
    9. Injustice 2 [7]
    10. Trouble Shooter [82%]
    11. Tuff E Nuff [68%]
    12. Wargroove [7]
    13. Phogs! [8]
    14. Cyber Shadow [7]
    15. Olija [7]
    16. ScourgeBringer [9]
    17. 80's Overdrive [5]
    18. Bowser's Fury [8]
    19. Super Mario 3D World [9]
    20. Ori in the Blind Forest [10]
    21. Alien Storm 53%
    22. Wide Ocean Big Jacket [8]
    23. Ninja Saviors [7]
    24. The Last of Us 2 [9]
    25. ATOMIC RunGunJumpGun [7]
    26. Donkey Kong Country 2 - 95%
    27. Fury Unleashed [7]
    28. For Honor [6]
    29. 198X - Switch [6]
    30. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze [9]
    31. Asterix 93%
    32. Astrobot: Rescue Mission [10]
    33. Thumper VR [9.5]
    34. New Super Luigi Bros U Deluxe [8]
    35. Narita Boy [6]
    36. Star Wars Pinball [8]
    37. Paper Beast [8]
    38. Castle of Illusion 90%
    39. Good Job [4]
    40. Scott Pilgrim Vs the World Ultimate Edition [6]
    41. Skelattack [3]
    42. Ghost of Tsushima [7]
    43. Monkey Barrels [6]
    44. I Hate Running Backwards [5]
    45. Panzer Paladin [8]
    46. Little Nightmares II [7]
    47. Flinthook [7]
    48. Freedom Planet [6]
    49. RYGAR 74%
    50. Hades [9]
    51. Witcheye [7]
    52. Headmaster [9]
    53. DOOM [9]
    54. Headmaster: Lost Lessons [7]
    55. Metroid: Zero Misson [7]
    56. It Takes Two [8]
    57. AER: Memories of Old [5]
    58. Detroit: Become Human [7]
    59. Kaze & the Wild Masks [7]
    60. Alba [8]
    61. Disc Room [9]
    62. Powerblade 93%
    63. Alex kidd in Miracle World DX [5]
    64. ITTA [6]
    65. Mario Gold Super Rush [7]
    66. Part Time U.F.O [8]
    67. Ori & the Will of the Wisps [9]
    68. Swords of Ditto [7]
    69. Lair of the Clockwork God [8]
    70. MAFIA: Definitive Edition [5]
    71. First Samurai 56%
    72. Death's Door [8]
    73. 9 Monkeys of Shaolin [6]
    74. Ape Out [9]
    75 Telling Lies []
    76. Doorkickers: Action Squad [6]
    77. Shovel Knight Treasure Trove [10]
    78. What the Golf DLC [7]
    79. A Monster's Expedition [10]
    80. DOOM Eternal Curse of the Ancient Gods Part One [7]
    81. OMNO [6]
    82. ART SQOOL [2] or [10]
    83. Battle Princess Madelyn Royal Edition [4]
    84. Space Jam A New Legacy [3]
    85. The Magnificent Truffle Pigs [7]
    86. 1943: The Battle of Midway
    87. Ghosts 'n Goblins
    88. Golf Club Wasteland [8]
    89. Below [6]
    90. Roundguard [8]
    91. Rive Ultimate Edition [9]
    92. The Artful Escape [6]
    93. Rain on Your Parade [5]
    94. WarioWare: Get it Together [7]
    95. Chasm [7]
    96. SturnFront The Alien War Ubel Edition [4]
    97. Flynn: Son of Crimson [9]
    98. Tiny Toons: Buster's Hidden Treasure 89%
    99. I Am Fish [4]
    100. River City Girls [7]
    101. The Takeover [6]
    102. The Mighty Goose [5]
    103. Contra: Hard Corps 93%
    104. Sunset Riders 88%
    105. Sunset Riders 79%
    106. TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist 86%
    107. Hard Corps Uprising [9]
    108. Contra III 88%
    109. TMNT: Turtles in Time 88%
    110. Tiny Toons 92%
    111. Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania [8]
    112. Castlevania Bloodlines 90%
    113. Foregone [8]
    114. Jenny LeClue Detectivu [9]
    115. Bot Vice [8]
    116. The Big Journey [6]
    117. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker [9]
    118. Metroid Dread [9]
    119. Procession to the Calvary [7]
    120. Wuppo: Definitive Edition [7]
    121. The Last Stop [6]
    122. Tanuki Justice [6]
    123. Rush Rally Origins [8]
    124. Backbone [8]
    125. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus [7]
    126. Rising Hell [6]
    127. Super Crush KO [8]
    128. Journey of the Broken Circle [5]
    129. Downwell [9]
    130. SLUDGE LIFE [8]
    131. Boomerang X [6]
    132. TOEM: A Photo Adventure [9]
    133. Skies of Fury DX [6]
    134. EXO ONE [8]
    135. Quartet 56%
    136. Wardner 89%
    137. Unpacking
    138. Sonic The Hedgehog 82%
    139. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 92%
    140. Aggelos [5]
    141. Cruis'n Blast [5]
    142. Astro Aqua Kitty [8]
    143. Legendary Eleven [4]
    144. Football Cop 2021 [1]
    145. League of Champions Soccer [0]
    146. Super Arcade Soccer [5]
    147. Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon [8]
    148. Sparklite [6]
    149. Sonic The Hedgehog 90%
    150. The Gunk [4]
    151. Shining Force II 96%
    152. Killer Instinct [7]
    153. The Matrix Awakens [no score; it's a demo]
  • 1. Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch) 
    2. Jewel Quest 2 (Switch) 
    3. Donkey Kong (NES) 
    4. Chameleon Run (Switch) 
    5. Cosmonauta (Switch) 
    6. New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe (Switch)
    7. Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA)
    8. Chu Chu Rocket (GBA) 
    9. Gris (PC)
    10. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle - Donkey Kong Adventure DLC (Switch)
    11. My Friend Pedro (Switch)
    12. Olija (Switch)
    14. Ninja Five-O (GBA)

    15. Ori and the Will of the Wisps (PC)

    17. Bonanza Bros (MD)
    18. Ninja Gaiden (Game Gear)
    19. The G. G. Shinobi (Game Gear)
  • 1.) Katamari damarci reroll. 8/10. Ps4pro.

    A remake of the original in everyway including some of the jank like falling thru the floor in one particular level.
    It really is such a happy fun game and one I might even platinum as its so enjoyable.

    2.) Ghost of tshumia. 10/10. Ps4pro

    Game of the year for me last year but I stopped short of actually finishing it and with a few side quests left I was hopelessly addicted to the co op multiplayer.
    Went back and finished it all and got the platinum trophy to boot becouse it was so enjoyable and I still look forward to more multiplayer.

    3.) Gears of war hivebusters. 4/10 xss.

    Son who lent me this told me how beautiful it was and it was short enough it might just get me itching for more.
    He was wrong it was like uncharted bit flat.
    Just nothing making me want to play it and after I finished it I stuck the last of us 2 on ps4pro and it looks so much better and organic.
    I don't even know how to describe why I didn't enjoy it.
    Just wasn't good or bad, just meh.

    4.) The division 2. 8/10 ps4pro.

    Took me ages to play thru this as its been a stop start affair and the loading at start is annoying (3 load menus before you even start)
    I also hate having to micromanage all my inventory and look at numbers to be competitive.
    But it plays nice-ish and looks pretty.
    (Pissed that my dlc isn't shareable with account sharing)

    5.) Mother Russia bleeds. 7/10 Ps4pro.

    Kinda like a really bloody and messed up final fight or streets of rage but better and more funked up than either of them.
    2d scrolling beat-em-up with up to 4 players.
    I finally finished this late last night with my step son and it was fun.

    6). Destiny 2 beyond light. 8/10 ps4pro.

    I enjoyed this campaign more for what comes after it and the new location.
    Of course the raid is really good and having lots of folks demanding I raid with them meant I didn't have time for much of any other game for a while but I enjoyed my time with it.
  • acemuzzy
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    Acemuzzy (aka murray200)
    3DS - 4613-7291-1486

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    Right then...

    1) Late Shift [7]
    2) Ghost of Tsushima [8]
    3) We Were Gone [6]
    4) Little Nightmares [6]
    5) Birthday of Midnight [3]
    6) Call of the Sea [6]
    7) Carto [7]
    8 ) Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom [7]
    9) Monsters Expedition [9]
    10) ooOoo Ascension [6]
    11) Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
    12) The Pedestrian
    13) Omno
    14) Golf Club: Wasteland
    15) Unpacking
    16) Blasphemous
    17) Twelve Minutes
    18) Superliminal
    19) Hades
    20) Death's Door
    21) Maquette
    R&C: Rift
    Desperados III
    The Medium
    Plague Tail
    Ys Celceta
    Yoshi 3DS
    Mini Metro
    Final Station
    Trials Fusion
    Psychonauts 2
    Lego Builders Journey
    Kena Bridge of Spirits
    Dark Souls
    Ender Spirits
    Zelda and the Minish Cap
    Wilmots Warehouse
    The Last Stop
    Cluster Truck
    Halo Infinite

    Coming soon: Stuff from the Fiscal Prudence thread (here), DQXI, FC5, Sundered, Mosaic Maze, Light Fall, Induction, Four Sided Fantasy, Tetrobot, DLC Quest, Shuggy, Sokobond, Jazzpunk, Hellblade, Ashen, Below, 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

    Movies/TV Shows:
    1) Mean Girls
    2) Spy
    3) A Teacher
    4) Perfect Planet
    5) Predestination
    6) The Usual Suspects
    7) Fargo
    8 ) LA Confidential
    9) Seven
    10) The Dig
    11) WILTY (s14)
    12) The Line of Duty (s6)
    13) Behind Her Eyes
    14) Interstellar
    15) Ad Astra
    16) Limitless
    17) Passengers
    18) Too Close
    19) Marcella (S3)
    20) Nomadland
    21) Motherland (S1)
    22) Motherland (S2)
    23) Innocent (S1)
    24) Innocent (S2)
    25) Promising Young Woman
    26) Expendables
    27) Motherland (S3)
    28) Time
    29) Together 
    30) unorthodox
    31) The Deceived
    32) Spirit
    33) Handmaid's Tale (4)
    34) John Wick
    35) John Wick 2
    36) Vigil
    37) The Morning Show (S1)
    38 ) Mosquito Coast
    39) Casino Royale
    40) Quantum of Solace
    41) Skyfall
    42) Spectre
    43) No Time to Die
    44) Succession (S1)
    45) Curb your enthusiasm (S10)
    46) You (S3)
    47) Dune
    48 ) Succession (S2)
    49) Succession (S3)
    50) Click & Collect
    51) The Morning Show (S2)
    52) The Matrix
    53) Angela Black
    When They See Us
    Only Murders in the Building

    Seven Worlds One Planet
    Flora & Ulysses

    1) The Curse of Bigness
    2) Leave the World Behind
    3) American War
    4) The Man Who Was Thursday
    5) Blood and Bone
    6) Pine
    7) Project Hail Mary
    Eat & Run
    The Mirror and the Light

    Book club p1

    My 2017 link (59 completed, [394], average [6.68]; 25 books; 33 shows/movies)
    My 2018 link (52 completed, [342], average [6.58]; 18 books; 26 shows/movies)
    My 2019 link (15 games, [TBD], average [TBD], only 7 books :-|, 49 shows/movies)

    My 2020 link
    My 2021 link
  • Nina
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    1 - Bloodborne Just Completed Post

    2 - Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise Post with thoughts on it

    3 - Until Dawn

    4 - Final Fantasy VII (Switch version) Link to post with links to posts

    5 - Abzu

    6 - Monster Hunter Generations UltimateRise is out, so out with the old, in with the new.
  • Remember it’s also a great way to record your games, even Chuck in your failures or discontinues.
  • 1. Kentucky Route Zero
    What do you say about this? Probably loads once you really get going, but no time for that now. The best brief thing to say is that it's not like anything else I've played before. I mean, it's not a game, is it, or even a walking sim? More like an interactive theatrical production, but also a bit like a novel due to all the text. It's fascinating, and not just for being weird, which it definitely is, but for being properly surreal in a way that brings out the strangeness of everyday (American) lives. And for being playful with your perspective and your role, ensuring that you're always taking part in the story, not just a spectator, even when there's not really much to do.

    I did think it was a bit too stretched out though, especially in parts 3 and 4. Not enough to break up the endless conversations, no matter how well written they are. But even then, it's interesting to think about that in terms of how the game branched out over time between episodes and got more ambitious. I think it would have been a different experience again to play it in pieces, as originally intended.

    2. Demon's Tilt [8]
    Not one you can really finish, but I set myself a target of getting the two big trophies - access Wizard mode (doing all the ritual challenges on the table in one game) and reaching 1 billion points - and managed those, so that'll  do.

    This is pretty much what I hoped it would be. I'm not really interested in pinball, but always loved Devil Crash on the MD, and Demon's Tilt is clearly channelling its spirit. A little more like a proper table than DC, but also includes all the moving parts and monsters that being a video game allows. Hitting targets is one thing, smashing the ball into bullet-spewing hell spawn takes it to a different level. There's tons to do and every challenge requires strategies, practice and a bit of skill to get it done reliably. The main table is even better than DC's, which is definitely something.

    The only issue really is the rather rigid front end. To get a satisfactory control set up I had to change the PS4 settings. There's an Ex-mode which adds bonus screens, but is also more difficult. Why not have the extras on the standard difficulty too? The game itself is good enough to deserve a little more care in this area.

    3. Woodsalt [4]
    A British developed visual novel that in the end tries to be too clever for its own good. There are some OK themes and ideas, but not a great deal to do as you select people to hang out with each day Persona style, and make dialogue choices that rarely feel consequential. Then reach the end and realise you're supposed to do it all over again to find out what's really going on. No thanks.

    4. Little Nightmares 2 [7]
    Slightly bigger sequel that improves on the first game. Visuals and sound are absolutely spot on and some of the adults you run into are truly horrific. Frustrations with the fixed camera angle feel quite deliberate as a means to make the simple actions more difficult, and it's a shame so much work has gone into creating a world that there's no reason to stay in for too long. But for as long as it lasts it's a wonderfully horrible ghost train ride.

    5. Gods Will Fall [7]
    Loads of original little risk-reward mechanics almost add up to something quite special. You take your randomly generated bunch of warriors to the isle of the gods with the aim of venturing through their domains and killing them. It's up to you what order you tackle the levels in and which warrior you send in to try and do it. Die and you can send another fighter in to rescue the lost one, or leave them till later and try a different level. Combat is solid, and the best thing is the way the game injects each character with a bit of personality and biographical detail, with stats going up or down depending on various factors. The problem is that once you've seen each level a few times, it gets predictable. All the neat little ideas and random factors actually offer much depth. Its compromise between a one-and-done adventure and a Roguelike experience ends up being a bit awkward.

    6. Bravely Default 2 [6]
    JRPG with a really nice set of systems in its jobs that offer good tactical depth, but otherwise rather plain. Characters, locations and storylines don't stand out at all, and dungeon crawling can be tedious due to the constant interruptions. And while most of it is mindless enough, some of the bosses are needlessly tough, leading to very uneven progress. In fact, I haven't really finished it because of that. I gave up on the final run of bosses because I was getting sick of it. But after 50 hours I'm counting it as done.

    7. Ghosts n Goblins Resurrection [8]
    A very clever reworking of the classics, which seems to understand them very well. Levels tend to remix the familiar in new ways, but also have a more dynamic feel, and the new versions of zombies etc. have a bit of added character. There are some collectibles too that let you unlock extra powers, but mainly it sticks to the simple 2-button control system of old and is all the better for it. It's also a good job that it has four different difficulty levels, because it's an utter utter bastard. It gets away with so much because of its audacity and cheeky personality, but there's no hiding that it's really difficult and at times frustrating. Lower settings with more checkpoints, fewer enemies and more health are an excellent compromise however. Still tricky but fair for the likes of me.

    8. Ghouls n Ghosts [8]
    A quick replay of this to compare on the new Capcom collection. I was surprised to find out that the English language arcade version here actually has frequent checkpoints, making it much easier to get through. So much so that I did it without quick saving, which I wasn't expecting. Only the Japanese version has the classic single checkpoint per level system. Anyway, it's still pretty great.

    9. Curse of the Dead Gods [8]
    I don't know what counts as completed exactly, but I beat all the chapter 3 bosses, which seems good enough, even though it then adds on a tough four chapter run. Either way, I thought it was very good in the end. Cribs off the most successful modern Roguelike design sensibilities (Hades, Slay the Spire, Dead Cell) to form a very well balanced experience. Its biggest success is making every decision meaningful, whether it's which route to take, or which upgrade, or weapon, or whether to refuse new stuff altogether and take a minor cash boost or health refill instead. The combat is solid too - meaty, deliberate, testing and varied. The slight issues are repetition in the early stages after a while and the main curse gimmick often being a bit of a non-event.

    10. Astro's Playroom [9]
    Did everything in this in short order. It has such momentum that it's hard to stop. I think it really benefits from being effectively an extended demo, in that it gets to just chuck different things at you every few seconds. But what's amazing is just how intuitive and slick every one of those things is. You can segue from jumping to shooting to gliding to rolling in a big ball and get what you're supposed to be doing instantly. Even with the controller functionality being put through its paces (often in very clever ways), it just clicks into place and you rarely have to break your rhythm (the monkey climbing bit was one exception, but it ended up being one of my favourite parts). In that sense, each stage is more deliriously enjoyable than almost any Mario level (with the balance point that if it ever was expanded into a full game, there's no way it would be able to maintain the pace). Plus, it's just great to have a pack-in game on a new console again, which has been made to showcase the hardware. For all the PlayStation nostalgia on show, that's something I'd really missed from 'the old days'.

    11. Narita Boy [7]
    The pixel art and soundtrack are fantastic. The game itself is rather ordinary. Platforms, sword combat, lots of running around. The fighting is fairly good, but otherwise the design is rather loose. Go here, get a key, open a door, get another key, etc. True, there is some variety in the action, but not much that will really stick in the memory. And that's a real shame because everywhere you go the backgrounds and character designs are stunning, and there are loads of standout tunes. You won't hear many better soundtracks this year or see better 2D visual design. Worth playing an average game for that? I think so.

    12. Mundaun [7]
    Pencil-shaded, black and white eeriness in the Swiss mountains. It's all a bit low-tech and clumsy, and the early pacing is a too rapid. But once it gets going there's a quality horror tale here and some nice little details and twists in your means of interaction. It smartly avoids trying to outright scare you most of the time, so doesn't fall back on common horror tropes. Instead it aims for the unease of unfamiliarity, and towards the end of the game it all really comes together. I also particularly liked that it's not simply the walking-sim with a few puzzles it initially appears, as it has some properly smart layout design and chucks in segments of stealth, driving and more besides. It's quite rudimentary, and not too taxing (thankfully), but it melds with the overall sense of strangeness and unpredictability.

    13. The Last Campfire [5]
    It's all very nicely presented and the structure of semi-open areas with puzzles to find and solve is one I can appreciate. But the puzzles are really quite dull, with an array of block rolling and switch pulling that I've seen in some form or another before. Few of them put up much of a fight either. In some cases it's hard not to solve them just by moving a few pieces around. I know it's supposed to be gentle and soothing, but you've got to liven things up now and again. Still, I stuck around, so I guess that counts for something. It's pleasant enough to drift through enjoying the scenery and the occasional bit that does keep you guessing for a while.

    14. Oddworld: Soulstorm [5]
    There's plenty to this and I enjoyed the variety of ideas and changes of pace. But the execution of so much of it is off, and it drags its levels on too long. Stodgy controls and poor visual communication make some pretty exacting action platform business much less fun than it should be.

    15. Demon's Souls [9]
    It's a bit of strange coming to this for the first time after all these years. So much of what would have been mind blowing has been repeated in later games, so it's familiar now. But the structure and much of the level design still really stands up. It's more imaginative and experimental than the Dark Souls sequels, and that still shines through. I like that the bosses are more interesting ideas than brick wall challenges too (actually, the latter stages of the game were pretty easy). And playing it on the PS5 is pretty great - even if it were just for the loading times, an absolute marvel. The first Dark Souls is still the sweet spot for me for this bunch, but this can tuck in behind, next to Bloodborne and ahead of Darks 2 and 3.

    16. I Saw Black Clouds [3]
    Look at me playing an interactive movie. In 2021. I expected the cheap production values, and didn't have an issue with that. And a few suspense/danger sequences use the format reasonably well, forcing you into quick decisions. But so much of the execution is off - pauses, skips, looping scenes - and some baffling plot decisions ruin it in the end. It turns out early decisions can take you into either of two entirely separate stories, yet they still share scenes and can even lead to the same ending. It's as daft as it sounds.

    17. Returnal [9]
    Does everything just right really. The movement, the shooting, the weapons, of course. The environment design and lore and not Roguelike meets Metroid structure. The surround sound effects and music and all the colourful orbs and the tentacles. And the protagonist and her story and the emotional journey you share with her. It's rare to see a game of this production level deliver something so pure and focused. It's only a few little things away from a 10.

    18. R-Type Final 2 [6]
    It's got some of the characteristic R-Type level design, the tricky, slow, slightly strategic approach to shooting things from the side on. It's got a ton of ships to unlock and take out for a spin, and branching routes towards the end. But it's always a little too ugly for its own good, plasticky monsters and purple lights. And the early levels wear thin too soon.

    19. Resident Evil: Village [8]
    It's not very scary and it mucks up an early nod to Resident Evil 4's opening village section. But if you're in for RE at its daftest and least predictable, it turns out rather well in the end. It gets away with a few weaker sections by constantly changing the pace and the environment. A keys and puzzles section goes into a creepy bit then a big dumb boss fight. In between the village itself opens up to reveal more secrets. And the cast of pantomime villains all perform well.

    20. World Splitter [6]
    A decent parallel worlds platform puzzler, with the twist that rather than just switching between worlds you control the line that separates them, moving and rotating it around to reveal just the right parts to make a path forward. It does just enough with the concept to be engaging without ever pulling any really clever tricks out of it. The local co-op mode (which I've only played briefly) also has potential, with both players controlling their own line and character, demanding a lot of careful co-ordination.

    21. Ninja Gaiden Sigma [7]
    Showing it age a bit, especially with the camera and a lack of QoL features that we're used to these days, and some bits of cheap level design. But this is still the most well-rounded of the NG games, with a winding structure to explore, and the combat is still slick and brutal. 

    22. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 [7]
    The basic combat is even better here, and the weapon selection is inspired, not least the tonfa and kusari-gama. However, it's a lot more one-dimensional in its focus than the first game, and this Sigma version strips it down even further, virtually turning it into nothing but a long series of repetitive battles. It also drops the difficulty down too much to compensate for the original version's frustrations.

    23. Final Fantasy VII Remake: INTERmission [9]
    Yuffie returns in a good sized slice of DLC. They do a good job fleshing out the bratty, boisterous character and making her distinctive in combat. There's also some good side content, including a revamp of the Fort Condor RTS from the original. By the end of it, the Midgar scenery is wearing thin, but it was good to revisit it through fresh eyes.

    24. Necromunda: Hired Gun [5]
    Warhammer 40K FPS that does a great job with the setting and for a while feels like it could be a solid B-tier Doom-alike. But it's actually rather messy mechanically and doesn't have the variety of enemies to keep it tactically interesting. And for all its character progression systems, the best thing to do most of the time is select your biggest gun and run towards things shooting them in the face, then finish them off with invincible melee attacks up close.

    25. Scarlet Nexus [8]
    The setting, anime style and even the action reminded me a lot of Astral Chain. It's got that Platinum style combat - slick, busy and OTT - some great monsters made up of human limbs, bits of machinery and rather nice shrubberies, and a slow drip of complexity that ends up demanding some real finger gymnastics. If it just developed on that with a little more oomph in its level design it would be right up there. Instead it focuses on an overblown story, which throws in ten times the ideas and twists it needs, and some light Persona style relationship building, which is unobtrusive enough but doesn't have the characters to make it interesting. The combat and sheer silliness make it more than worthwhile regardless.

    26. Legend of Mana [6]
    I'd not played this before and knew it was a bit different from the normal ARPG template, but it surprised me just how original it still is. The almost complete openness and lack of a main quest are both liberating and intimidating, and its a bold structure to attempt. Unfortunately, it's let down by some confusing writing, poor tutorials and some deliberately obtuse quest design. Plus some shallow, pedestrian combat. The new graphical makeover is lovely though, and with a guide to hand it's still an intriguing curio.

    27. Stonefly [6]
    This is a step up from the developer's last game, Creature in the Well, but not by as much as it promised at first. It suffers from the same problem - an appealing, original idea which isn't fully capitalised on. The basics are better this time, with your little flying bug-like machine upturning insects then flinging them off the edges of giant leaves with gusts of wind. Bigger insects force you to make craft upgrades to deal with their specific threats, and on it goes. But there just isn't the variety to keep it going for 8+ hours, and too much of that ends up being resource farming to meet the demands of your new inventions. Padding, in other words, rather than smart, evolving level design. Still, it is a good idea, the music and visual style are nice, and gliding around is quite pleasantly relaxing.

    28. Minute of Islands [7]
    There's less to do than I would've liked, but I still got a lot out of this beautifully drawn and surreal world. It's one of those games that's about things, like isolation and duty, and also weirdly a deadly airborne plague and people wearing masks to survive. It's slow and barely qualifies as a platform-puzzle game, but some gentle narration and those detailed comic book visuals bring a lot to the table.

    29. Ender Lilies [8]
    For a good while this was just a solid Metroidvania. More Vania, definitely, especially the ones where you turn enemy souls into powers and weapons. And very nice looking, too, with an enchanting soundtrack to match. All very polished, hardly inspired. But about halfway in I started to appreciate the complexity of its layouts, the flexibility of its combat systems with the combination of powers you equip, and the dastardly challenges of its later areas. Eventually it gets close to being something quite special.

    30. Roguebook [7]
    I've only finished a run for the first time, so I'm far from an expert, but this is a respectable understudy to the great Slay the Spire. It only really surpasses the latter in the looks department (hardly a challenge), but also offers up a few interesting ideas, like the dual character system and the maps you're left to uncover - itself a test of strategy and luck - before trotting over to take a shot at each boss. Then again, all that meandering about does slow it down a bit. The card game itself meanwhile is full of those neat little decisions and gambits you'd expect, just not quite up to the genius standards of the Spire. So probably in the end it won't have the same legs, but it's a pleasing alternative for a while.

    31. Last Stop [7]
    Mildly interactive TV-style boxset of three stories set in London, which combine quirky family dramas with a common thread of supernatural elements. It works because of the difference in tone between stories and the need to play an episode of each before moving on. Plus they're generally quite well written. And as long as you accept you aren't really directing anything with dialogue choices, just sort of nudging the form of response, it gathers towards an odd but entertaining conclusion.

    32. Eldest Souls [8]
    2D, pixel-art, Soulslike boss-rush. It all comes down to the boss design, and that's pretty great. Most bosses take some learning and a bit more effort from there to actually beat, with a good flow to battles as each mistake feels costly, but you can gain back lost health by charging up an attack to enter a timed 'bloodthirst' mode. There are other bits like NPC side quests and skill trees to vary your build, but mostly it comes back to that finely balanced cat and mouse struggle, with you the mouse most of the time. There isn't actually that much of it - only 9 bosses to reach the end - but they're a good challenge and it's probably best it finished before it gets stale.

    33. The Ascent [6]
    Looks stunning and the basics of shooting things are solid enough. But the mission design is dull, often sending you jogging through long stretches gunning down repeating gangs, the RPG aspects are meagre, and a host of annoying interface issues ensure it wears thin over time.

    34. Cris Tales [6]
    Visually very striking JRPG (although Colombian, not Japanese) that's full of promise with its time bending mechanics - you can see the past, present and future of towns and their inhabitants all at once, and in battle age and de-age monsters to change them. It just doesn't take that early promise and develop it into anything remotely deep, leaving the appealing characters and locations with far too much work to do.

    35. Road 96 [9]
    In terms of narrative structure, this is very smart. Procedurally selected scenes, guided in part by your chosen mode of travel, that link together to form a unique journey. It's an excellent way of recreating the vibe of classic road trip films, by keeping things unpredictable and forcing you to improvise in interactions with strangers. But the stories of the people you meet are just as important as your own, as you try to flee to the border in an oppressive dictatorship and discover their roles in the politics of the place. Then some basic survival concerns and a string of neatly interwoven mini-games make it a bit more than the walking sim/visual novel it might otherwise be, ensuring that don't simply feel like a passenger.

    36. 12 Minutes [7]
    It's been fun watching everyone tear this to shreds since it came out, but I still quite liked it. I know it's flawed, with some dodgy puzzle logic at times and characters that don't react as you might expect. And yes, the story is rather contrived to fit the premise, to say the least. But it's a decent achievement fitting a whole point n click 'adventure' in a single space, and it does as good a job as any game of capturing the frustrations of a time loop. The aim is to create a sense of panicked claustrophobia and coax you into to some dark decisions - without ever explicitly pushing you - and on those counts it works for me.

    37. No More Heroes 3 [6]
    More No More Heroes. It's full of amusing homages and unexpected twists, and the basic combat is pretty good. But it doesn't have much to say these days and doesn't move anywhere new, even sticking to the original's repetitive structure, which falls flat the second time around.

    38. Hoa [7]
    A short, simple and gentle platform game boosted by lush visuals and soundtrack. Probably the sort of thing kids could enjoy to get into the genre, especially since there's no death. But anyone looking for a nice comfort game to relax with should like it too.

    39. The Forgotten City [8]
    Open investigation time again, now with a time loop and ancient Roman setting. It's more dialogue based than the likes of Paradise Killer or Obra Dinn, and not quite as brilliant as either. But there are plenty of clever little ways to exploit the loop and some interesting ideas about morality and history to get your head round.

    40. F.I.S.T. [6]
    A substantial and varied Metroidvania with plenty of elaborate level design and tricky platform challenges. Unfortunately, I found it quite annoying to play, with the combat especially sapping my enthusiasm. It's not even difficult really, just niggling in a way that wore me down.

    41. Eastward [6]
    This was so nearly a kind of dream game for me. A 90s style action RPG with gorgeous pixel art, a great duo of central characters and some neatly designed dungeons. A heady mix of Earthbound, Secret of Mana and A Link to the Past, but with a style and heart of its own. If only they'd resisted the temptation to go big with the story. I found it to be overwritten, with some tortured humour, and so bloated with dialogue that it slowed the pace right down. 15 hours instead of over 20, and it would have been amazing.

    42. Lost in Random [6]
    The opposite problem. Lost in Random is a dark fairy tale with obvious Tim Burton aspirations that's actually pretty well written. The premise of a kingdom where social status is decided by the roll of a die is a good start, each of the six districts is distinctive, and there are some decent characters. It's all a bit bland in the playing, however. The bulk of it comes down to combat, which is real-time but involves stopping the action to throw a die and play cards. It's too slow in practice, and doesn't have the challenge or variety to last the distance. Which leaves the exploration and conversation side of things, and they're too limited to count for much either.

    43. Deathloop [9]
    Dishonored but groovy. Deathloop strips out a lot of the fussy complexities of Arkane's previous games and that makes it more fun. You don't have to worry so much about stealth going awry, the music is funky, and kicking one of its dumb enemies off a ledge never gets old. Nor does it come with moral implications, because he'll be there again tomorrow, and that encourages mischief. Good enough, but get into the meat of the game and it reveals hidden layers in its repeating locations that surprise you whenever you think you've got the measure of them. The loop structure is used masterfully, coaxing you to learn, discover and hone your routes organically as you power up and seek out different objectives. Plus there's a solid investigation game beneath the mayhem, and some great characters and writing. Perhaps there's a little too much repetition, even if that's the point, and some minor AI quibbles. But it's hard to fault in any substantial way.

    44. Death's Door [8]
    It probably doesn't help that I played this in three chunks over a period of months, but in the end I don't think it was quite as brilliant as I thought early on. It doesn't really push beyond its initial quality into anything truly original or extraordinary. That's understandable for a game made by such a small studio, though, and it's still a real achievement that they've got the fundamentals so spot on. The level design is pleasingly intricate, combat is tight, and it's immaculately presented and full of character.

    45. Biomutant [4]
    I finished this back in May, but looks like I forgot to add it to the list. It is pretty forgettable, to be fair. It's basically a testament to overambition. A small team trying to make a fully featured open-world adventure and failing to fill it with anything interesting. It does have a certain character, and there's a lot of it. But combat is clumsy and poorly balanced. All the dungeons and hidden areas are bland. And the morality system - which the narrator never stops reminding you of - makes no sense and feels inconsequential. This is a game where you can free someone from a cage, then decide whether to let them run along or punch them in the face. And it's impossible to care either way.

    46. The Eternal Cylinder [7]
    One of the oddest and most fascinating games I've played this year, even if it's roughly put together. A surreal survival adventure where you control an expanding group of little snouted creatures that hoover up and eat organisms to change their forms and adapt to the retro sci-fi landscape. And then there's a giant cylinder spanning the width of the world behind you which chases you and crushes everything in its path at regular intervals. And there are themes and a plot and it's kind of brilliant but also drags on a bit and is a little fiddly to play.

    47. Far Cry 6 [4]
    Ubisoft at their most stupid. Just loads of stuff thrown into a mix in the hope it explodes in an entertaining fashion, but even when it does it's still sort of boring and sort of broken. A waste of a good location, a waste of Giancarlo Esposito, and a waste of time.

    48. JETT: The Far Shore [6]
    I liked this more after finishing it than I did for most of the time I was playing. It's got the right atmosphere for a journey to an unknown planet, but its structure is actually quite dull and overly prescribed. The thrill of exploring replaced by following the ideas that your crew come up with. But once we got towards the end, I began to appreciate it as a means of storytelling.

    49. In Sound Mind [6]
    Quite an original first-person psychological horror game, let down by cheap production that makes it all a bit silly and sometimes annoying to play. It's got plenty of tricks and some decent puzzles, but technically it's something of a mess. Still, I appreciate the ambition.

    50. Tandem: A Tale of Shadows [6]
    Dual character puzzle game where you switch between an overhead and side-on perspective. Levels are solidly designed with a handful of clever mechanics, but nothing here is overly taxing or new. The presentation is also very sparse, and without much in the way of character it's merely a string of decent puzzles.

    51. Metroid Dread [8]
    It's good to play a proper Metroid and be reminded that no other Metroidvania quite does the same job. Samus is still a wonderfully versatile character, and the level design is incredibly dense in its plotting - locks, one-way systems, teleporters and so on. I think it's a good move to focus on that aspect of the series' history - along with some strong boss encounters - because it hasn't been done to death elsewhere, even if that comes at the expense of more sedate exploration. I'm less forgiving of the EMMI sections, though, which simply feel underdeveloped. But overall it's a very good new Metroid.

    52. Darkest Dungeon 2 [7]
    Still in early access, but I completed a single run, so that counts. Structurally it's more like Slay the Spire this time, with individual journeys that go on until your team wins or dies. It's quite a slow process, and will certainly need some rebalancing, but the tactical turn-based combat is already strong, the atmosphere is oppressive and the switch to 3D characters has really brought them to life.

    53. The Legend of Tianding [7]
    A great little platform brawler, loosely inspired by a real-life Robin Hood type character in early 20th century Taiwan. It's all very slick - the comic book style presentation, controls, combat (instantly tying enemies up and stealing their weapon, before kicking them across the screen), platform challenges and some tough but fair boss fights. It's only really the balance between story stuff and missions that lets it down - a little less running around doing errands and one or two more full-size levels and it would be right up there.

    54. Chicory [8]
    A very pleasant 2D Zelda-like with loads of clever ideas based around painting colour back into the environment. The way paint solves puzzles is often ingenious, and it's easy to get distracted just trying to make each screen look nice. The story and themes are laid on too thick (Celeste tackled similar stuff much better), but it's hard to dislike even for a grizzled old cynic when everyone's so nice and supportive.

    55. Bonfire Peaks [7]
    Loads and loads of 3D block puzzles, propped up by a constant stream of inventive mechanics involving flowing water, arrows and so on. There's no doubting the level designs are clever and give the brain a thorough workout. But it was a little short of genius for me for the amount of getting stuck involved, and the monotone presentation made it drag before the end.

    56. Tunche [5]
    Does a scrolling beat 'em up work as a Roguelike? In this case, not really, no. I've described it elsewhere as Streets of Hades, because it nicks the structure of SuperGiant's game pretty much wholesale, but unfortunately without remembering to make the branching path decisions through each level actually interesting. Same with the 'Streets of' bit. The fighting is very slick, to be fair, but it's insanely repetitive even by genre standards. Shame.

    57. Unpacking [8]
    An original idea that both manages to turn into a decent sort of puzzle game and hit some subtle narrative notes in the process. I found myself caring about things going in the right places surprisingly quickly, and managing to decorate every room in a way that seems to make sense is at least mildly taxing. But obviously the smart stuff is what it tells you in the process about people's lives and relationships through their possessions and the organisation of their living space. Still, I thought it did run out of steam a bit towards the end, perhaps because I was hoping it would do more with the concept than it ultimately did.

    58. Solar Ash [8]
    One of those games that not quite like anything else, even though it clearly borrows from various sources - including, in this case, Shadow of the Colossus and Mario Galaxy. It also captures the desire to explore that was there in Heart Machine's first game, Hyper Light Drifter, yet in such a radically different way. Here the crisp visual style and sprawling views invite you in, while the perpetual motion of your skate-leap-grapple move set makes sure getting to the furthest reaches is relentlessly compelling. The colossus parts are probably the weak point, in fact, paling in comparison to the pleasure of navigating these abstract spaces at speed.

    59. Chorus [7]
    An open-world space shooter that's too po-faced for its own good, but delivers when it comes to outer space dogfights. The tight control of your tiny ship makes it work, especially once you learn some nifty abilities like drift turns and short range teleports that leave you right behind your prey. Taking down bigger fish is fun too, as you fly right into their guts to shoot out their power cores. The story is mince, though, leading to some tedious cockpit chatter and lore-finding missions in forgotten caves. Plus the game is generally bad at communicating mission objectives, leading to some frustration as you fail again for unforeseeable reasons. A bit of Jedi patience required.

    60. The Gunk [6]
    I felt like this should either have been a nice short narrative piece or a proper Metroid-like adventure, but as it is it sits somewhere in between and doesn't make the two halves join up. The two central characters are the best bit - a couple who genuinely care for each other but have plenty of differences and outside worries to make their relationship rocky. Exploring an alien planet while your other half warns you to be careful is different at least. The rest of it though, it's all rather limited. Like a Zelda dungeon stuck in second gear, with only a handful of puzzle types and some half-arsed enemies and upgrades. It needed to feel more wondrous and dangerous - like Journey to the Savage Planet - to really work.

    61. White Shadows [7]
    A Limbo/Inside/Little Nightmares linear weird horror type experience, with more than a whiff of knockoff early on. But give it a chance and put up with some rough edges and it definitely forges its own identity. It helps that the black and white scenery is so impressive, and there's some great use of familiar classical music. But also by the second of its three hours the horrific reveals and playful twists start to land, with a few particularly memorable scenes. It still lacks the polish of those games up there, but for a B-tier genre-mate it's a solid effort, and just about scrapes that 7.

    62. Genesis Noir [6?]
    Abstract/surreal arty thing with a jazz soundtrack. There's a thread to follow of sorts, a murder mystery to piece together, which somehow weaves together with the history of the universe. It doesn't really matter anyway - mostly stuff happens and you click on things to make more stuff happen. The enjoyment of it is in seeing how the mouse has been put to use in wildly different scenarios - rotating the skyline, piecing together broken crockery - and the frustration is when you don't know what the hell it wants you to do so you just click and move about until the scene shifts to the next bit. What is uniformly great about it is the visual style and the camera work that goes with it. Worth it for that alone, almost, but overall I came away from it about as nonplussed as you are reading this.

    63. Slay the Spire
    I've played this as much as anything this year, so it may as well count. And since I beat the final boss for once this time, I'll call it a new completion. No need to say anymore. Everyone knows by now.

    64. Golf Club Wasteland [8]
    This always sounded like a great idea, and it turns out it was executed really well too. 2D golf around a post-apocalyptic Earth which has become a tourist curio for the super rich elite who legged it to Mars. The golfing is incredibly simple, while the holes get more complex as they fit around greater scenes of devastation. But it's all really a vehicle for the story anyway, which uses the world and an in-game radio station to take square aim at the likes of Musk and his fellow techno-capitalists. If anything, it's a bit too on the nose with some of the satire, but I'll forgive it that, and a slightly wonky putting game, because it nails the core concept so well. Plus the soundtrack is excellent.
  • 1. Kentucky Route Zero (PS4) - 6/2 - 10hrs
    If ever there was a 'game' that I couldn't really rate, this was it.  It's so different, and so surreal and weird; it just doesn't lend itself to being judged in the same way as conventional games, if judged at all.  There is nothing else out there like this that I have played.  You could call it a point-and-click adventure but even that is a stretch.

    All in a really good way.  The writing is superb, the script often dealing with or commenting on relevant real-life contemporary issues (debt, slavery, overpowering conglomerates/companies).  The art-style and sound are very apt and only add to the strangeness of it all.  There were one or two genuinely standout moments for me, in particular around a couple of the songs.

    My only gripe was that it seemed to drag in a couple of places and could've done with being a little shorter for what it is, occasionally feeling like art for art's sake.  Nonetheless, it is something everyone should try at some point.  Nothing else quite like it.
    [?] ESSENTIAL [?]

    2. Astro’s Playroom (PS5) - 7/5 - 5hrs
    Wow. First completed game in 3 months! And what a joyous and charming little platformer this is, showcasing what the PS5 controller can do. Brought many a smile to my face with its celeberation of the Playstation brand and series. If only there was more of it!

    3. Returnal (PS5) - 23/5 - 40hrs
    Where to start?!  As a Housemarque fan, I was hyped for this when announced but slowly became nonplussed.  Thanks to mega hype reignited by Cinty & Co in the Returnal thread, I became desperate to source a PS5 to play this.  After much twisting of arms, I got one to play it on and it did not disappoint.
    I shall return to lots more Pew Pew and also try daily challenges.

    4. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) - 28/5 - c15hrs
    Did almost everything (fuck Champion’s Road) in the WiiU and loved it. Replayed on Switch now in co-op with the kids. Frantic and equal parts fun and frustrating in co-op, but that’s more due to the kids just messing around and also not being great. Not much else to say except that it’s still one of the best Mario games around despite how easy the main areas are with only the post-credits areas providing any challenge. It’s just as well, because even the first post-credits area was too frustrating in co-op and we stopped halfway through the area. I’ll do the rest by myself, but onto Bowser’s Fury with the boy. Loving it already.

    5. Hades (Switch) - 27/7 - c40hrs
    Well, I think I can finally count this fantatstic little roguelite.  Around 40 hours played over a period of 10 months, I really ought to have played it more frequently.  53 escape attempts later, I got my first clear (and immediatley followed it with another).  So much more to do, but for now I'll county it as 'completed'.

    The central loop with its simple and frantic combat, the huge range of powers and abilities to choose from, all the extras to aim for, all of it will keep me coming back for more until it breaks me.  In time, this may be a [10] but a [9] will have to do for now.  Oh, and the music.

    5. Metroid Dread (Switch) - 25/10 - 16hrs
    100%ed. A good Metroid, but not quite Super. A bit of a slow start, but once it got going and you had some power ups under your belt, it’s great. Movement is fluid and responsive.
    What I wasn’t a fan of was the constant funnelling from place to place, sometimes feeling like you’re just being pushed to the next item and then the next, not being allowed to figure out the route for yourself. The EMMI sections, while break up the action, just felt a bit dull and annoyed me. I also felt the general atmosphere and the music was lacking.
    But once I had everything, going back to wander and explore and get 100% with some deviously placed items was great. A good effort.

    6. Bowser's Fury (Switch) - 8/11 - c5hrs
    100%ed. A good Mario. A bit too short and easy, but really fun anyway and well designed.  Co-oped it with my boy who ocontrolled Bowser Jr - the co-op isn't much to speak of at all, might as well not have bothered, but at least we had father and son gaming time with it.  If they had made it even remotely challenging and a little bigger, it would have been so good.

    7. Halo Infinite (Series X) - 30/12 - ???20hrs???
    343 have done well. Better than 4 and 5, but that’s not exactly saying much. Some missteps: the open world could be more interesting in its terrain and layout; a couple of the bosses were pish; story is still bobbins; could’ve introduced some new more interesting enemies, fighting usual Halo lot is still great but could do with fresh enemies. Also, could’ve done so much more with Forerunner architecture and tech. Instead we get same blue corridors and halls as infinitum.

    Plenty of good stuff though. Some of the side quests are great. The shooting is great. And the grapple is so damn awesome. Could’ve done with more interesting missions, and more than just one vehicle mission, but some of the main levels were great. I will most definitely play again. Something I did not (want to) do with 4 and 5.

    8. Unpacking (Series X) - 30/12 - c4hrs
    Started off very good, somewhat cathartic and therapeutic. Became a bit tedious and frustrating towards the end. Couldn’t tell what some of the items were meant to be because of the pixel graphics and maybe I missed something but you can’t seem to rotate items.

    9. Toem: A Photo Adventure (Switch) - 31/12 - 6hrs
    What a lovely, delightful, relaxing chillout game. Loved it.

    10. Street Fighter V: Champion Edition (PS4) - all year-ish - lotsofhrs
    Since a few friends picked up the game earlier in the year, we have spent a LOT of hours playing each other. It’s come a long way from the initial version in 2016 and is much better now, but I still have a love hate relationship with it and it’s probably the weakest game in the series (barring SF1). Couldn’t quite get the platinum trophy as I need to grind out in-game currency which can take ages.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • I'm gonna do a youtube thing this year to force me to play games, as I'll have to do a weekly update, and not just play Destiny/Minecraft forever.
  • I'll give it a go, again. Failed miserably last year, movies were king. I should review what I did get through and do a small recap.

    1. Carrion
    Metroidvania type 'reverse horror' game. You play an escaping monster, battling through a facility, discovering genetic upgrades that enhance your abilities, your way blocked by inaccessible areas and enemies of various strengths.

    An entertaining little game with a nifty pixel art style. Fun combat and creature abilities, the movement and animation of the creature very well realised. Doesn't hang around too long and not overly difficult. I had to refer to a map on a couple of occasions, usually after saving and coming back to it a day later after the flow had been lost. Good effort. 7

    2. Donut County
    Simplistic, indie puzzle game. Each level sees you moving a hole to swallow objects that increases the size of the hole allowing you to swallow larger objects. Kinda neat at first but not much substance, I think I was hoping or expecting something more akin to Katamari. Cutscenes got old really quick, the script mercifully skippable. Short enough to not irritate too much but a passing, uninspiring fancy. 5
    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>Xbox Series X>Oculus Quest 2
  • Dark Soldier
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    1. ABZU - 2 HOURS [9]

    What an utterly joyous experience. Two hours, stunningly beautiful, simple. Delightful.

    2. AXIOM VERGE - 10 HOURS [8]

    A very enjoyable Metroidvania which has some ridiculous difficulty spikes in certain areas. Score dropped from an [8] as it did the one thing these things should never do, allowed me to access a section which I didn't have the powers to then escape from. Was stuck and had to reload save sending me way back to a save point, hate that shit. Fairly sure I sequenced boke or something but still. A few of the weapons are meh, but a decent map, story and some great bosses.

    EDIT: Changed to an 8 as I'm a fucking idiot.

    3. CLOSE TO THE SUN - 5 HOURS [6.5]

    An Epic Games freebie so can't complain. A 'horror' explorathon plot thingy. We've all played them. Tesla, electricity, science, ship, nonsense.

    Fairly enjoyable, in a go here and do this then go there kinda way. Let down by some real shit chase sequences and it all kinda just dribbles out in the last couple chapters. Its horror but isn't scary in the slightest. I still fairly enjoyed it though and as I said, for free can't complain.
  • 1: Cyberpunk 2077 (PS5) 7/10
    2: Doom Eternal (PC) 9/10
    3: Ridge Racer Unbounded (PC) 6/10
    4: Super Mario 3D World + Bowsers Fury (Switch) 10/10
    5: Rock N Roll Racing (SNES/SWITCH) - 7/10
    6: God Of War ‘18 (PS5) - 10/10
    7: Cricket '19 (PC) 4/10
    8: Windjammers (Switch) 8/10
    9: Persona 5 Strikers (PS5) 8/10
    10: What The Golf (Ipad) 8/10
    11: Yakuza: Like a Dragon (PS5) 9/10
    12: Returnal (PS5) 10/10
    13: Mass Effect 1 (PC) 6/10
    14: Mass Effect 2 (PC) 10/10
    15: Metroid Zero Mission (Wii U) 8/10
    16: Warioware (Wii U/GBA) 8/10
    17: Metroid Fusion (Wii U/GBA) 7/10
    18: Mario Golf Super Rush (Career Mode) (Switch) 7/10
    19: Huntdown (Switch) 9/10
    20: Blur (PS3) 9/10
    21: FFVII Remake Intergrade Yuffie Mission (PS5) 7/10
    22: Grid 2019 (PC) 7/10
    23: Skyward Sword (Switch) 8/10
    24: Gears Of War 4 (PC) 7/10
    25: Critters For Sale (PC) 8/10
    26: Microsoft Flight Simulator (PC) 5/10
    27: Rym 9000 (PC) 3/10
    28: Gears Of War Tactics (PC) 7/10
    29: Quake (Switch) 10/10
    30: Arkanoid DS (DS) 5/10
    31: Gears 5 (PC) 8/10
    32: Gears Hivebusters (PC) 7/10
    33: Peggle (PC) 8/10
    34: Saints Row 3 (PS5) 6/10
    35: Everybody's Golf World Tour (PS3) 8/10
    36: Saints Row 4 (PC) 9/10
    37: Saints Row Gat Out Of Hell 5/10
    38: Letter Quest Remastered (Switch) 8/10
    39: Crash Bandicoot 4 (PS5) 8/10
    40: Cruisin' Blast (Switch) 8/10
    41: Metroid Dread (Switch) 10/10
    42: DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power (Switch) 3/10
    43: Diablo 2 (Switch) 8/10
    44: New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe (Switch) 8/10
    45: Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection (Switch) 9/10
    46: Strikey Sisters (Switch) 8/10
    47: Max Payne 3 (PC) 9/10
    48: Beat Star (Android) 8/10
    49: Forza Horizon 5 (PC) 8/10
    50: Grand Theft Auto V (PC) 9/10
    51: Shin Megami Tensai V (Switch) 7/10
    52 Hot Wheels Unleashed (PS5) 6/10
    53: Unpacking (PC) 6/10
    54: Solitairica (PC) 7/10
    When you got movies like Tom Cruise in them, you can't lose
  • 1: Cyberpunk 2077 (PS5) 7/10

    This is mostly a 2020 game obviously!  Couldn't QUITE get there over the Christmas break.

    There's a quote the Eurogamer Reader's GOTY post that says this must be a great game if it can crash 15 times and still make you come back.  15 is underselling it though.  My game was well into the dozens of crashes.  I haven't played anything this flaky in 15 odd years, when I played Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines and Star Wars KOTOR back to back (games that had an even chance of crashing every time I loaded a new area) on PC.  Cyberpunk takes the cake.   It even crashed on the fucken end credits! 

    Aside from the crashing there were lots of visual bugs.  At the start my character's willie was peeking through his leather trousers.  Later I got given a jacket that made the rest of my clothes invisible; I didn't realise for a while and was just getting around like an old school flasher and none of my friends told me.  A bloke was playing guitar loudly, but the guitar didn't load in so he was just thrashing away at nothing.  Maybe it was just a tribute to that funny noise bloke from Police Academy that I didn't get at the time.  People will be kissing, but they will both be facing the same direction, so the bloke is going to town on the back of the girl's head and she's pashing the air.  Etc.

    Luckily it was mostly playable and the important stuff didn't bug out all that much.  There were some bits that turned sombre moments into slapstick farces and all that, but my game never broke irreparably.  

    And there WAS plenty to like - I don't have anything new to say but the dialogue bits really do set a new standard with their body language and they really help sell the stories.  I quite like CDPR's style of role playing where you have a fairly defined character but a bit of wriggle room to play them your way.  There are some great side stories and characters to meet.    Even though I got a bit lost with the main story (there was like a 20 hour period where I just did side content, which is not the correct way to play!  When I tried to get back into the main quest I couldn't remember half the shit I was doing or people's names) there were still a bunch or really memorable sections.  Mostly involving Keanu Reeves who I reckon did a great job.  

    The fighting was quite good though I'm not a huge fan of the endless looting.  Too many hours spent after a shoot out picking up things, then going through your inventory to upgrade your gear, and selling the stuff you don't need.  There's too much of it!  Nearly everything's obsolete after a few fights.   Really wish you could upgrade your clothes more effectively - nothing worse than having a cool outfit then having to swap out your cowboy hat for a baseball helmet because it has +20 armour!

    Even though the side stories are of a high quality, you also get a heap of interchangeable missions where you have to kill a regular gang bloke in his hideout.  Sometimes they want you to sneak or steal something but it doesn't matter.  Maybe they're well written but I didn't care about them.  They were just shit clogging up the map and journal.

    Also, your mobile phone is worst than in real life!  God no one will leave you alone for five minutes.  Sometimes people called when I was talking to someone else!  It would say press [button] to answer.  But even if you don't press the button, you still answer it!  Ridiculous.  Every bastard texting you and trying to sell you cars and shit.  

    Writing this out, I'm mostly just whinging about the game - this reminds me of how I talk about Witcher 3.  It's one of my favourite games.  When I try and summarise my thoughts I say I enjoy the stories characters and dialogue, then spend half an hour complaining about everything else in the game!  Even though there's plenty I'd change about the game, that stuff matters less than the stuff that sucks me in.

    I had an eye on a second playthrough from the beginning, too.  Beyond hoping all the bugs and crashing get cleaned up I'm keen to see it looking like a PS5 game should, and playing as a character I can better relate to. Hopefully a quality expansion or two as well.  I really hope it can come good.
    When you got movies like Tom Cruise in them, you can't lose
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    Placeholder - see if I can do better than last year - had some hefty games last year though...
  • 2.Gears 5 Hivebusters - 4 Hours - 10/10 - Xbox Series X

    That was awesome! Nice bit of campaign DLC with a new squad and a new mission within the Gears universe. Playing as Scorpio squad you take on the swarm and a big badass bird that spits acid that Colonel Hoffman wants to weaponise!!

    Same cover to cover Gears gameplay with some new added abilities which don’t detract at all from the norm. Corridor shooter so none of the open world stuff, just battle to battle in the most gorgeous game ever.

    Nothing new here just more of the awesome same. Real shame more people haven’t played this as it’s an ace bit of DLC and part of Gamepass. 10/10 as it’s just a perfect short shot of Gears Campaign, nothing more and nothing less.
  • Nice, downloaded that last night.
  • It’s so good. It’s absolutely nothing different or special but if you like Gears it’s perfect.
  • I used to like it. Gears Tactics might've pulled me back in.
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    I used to like it. Gears Tactics might've pulled me back in.

  • Dark Soldier
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    1. ABZU - 2 HOURS [9]

    What an utterly joyous experience. Two hours, stunningly beautiful, simple. Delightful.
  • Nice. Wasn't keen on that one myself but it's definitely a looker.
  • Abzulutely wonderful.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • Dark Soldier
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    2. AXIOM VERGE - 10 HOURS [8]

    A very enjoyable Metroidvania which has some ridiculous difficulty spikes in certain areas. Score dropped from an [8] as it did the one thing these things should never do, allowed me to access a section which I didn't have the powers to then escape from. Was stuck and had to reload save sending me way back to a save point, hate that shit. Fairly sure I sequenced boke or something but still. A few of the weapons are meh, but a decent map, story and some great bosses.

    EDIT: Changed to an 8 as I'm a fucking idiot.
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