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Unread 12-27-2018, 07:52 PM   #1
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Default Games in 2018

I’ve done it every year since 2012, so I’m back once again to review every game I played in the space-year 2018. This year saw me revive the BBacklog Challenge, a method by which to force myself to play those games I bought on sale five years ago and never actually got around to playing. If you’d like some measure of how well it works- last year, I didn’t have a job all year and managed to play 27 games. This year, working the whole time, I made my way through 54 games.

That said, I’ve already done a write-up for most of these as part of that process, so I’ll have a lot less to say in this round-up than usual.

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Majora’s Mask

Sorry. I know everyone loves this one, but I wasn’t very taken with it. The re-use of OoT assets was jarring for me and the pressure of the three-day countdown just made me feel like I couldn’t spend my time going off the beaten track. I’m glad to have played it, but probably won’t come back to it. (Also, why did they waste touchscreen space on the pictobox, which you only really need to use once ever? A transformation masks toggle would make much more sense and be far more user-friendly.)

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En Guarde!

I finished it in the time it took to clear it off BBLC, so here's my write-up!

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Fire Emblem Echoes

As a remake of the second FE game, and without really modernising any of the mechanics- this is for fans of the series only. Archers having huuuuge range, and magic being nigh unbeatable are wonky enough, but the kicker here is the Witch enemy- who can teleport any time they like on any turn they like, to any place on the map they like, at random, and target any of your units. It’s literally impossible to strategise against. I finished it to the end, but I’ll probably only do so once. Fun and frustrating.

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Rocket League

I’m not much of an online player, so I finished one single-player league and put it to bed. Not enough variation in game modes to keep me invested, which is a shame cos it was a blast while I was into it. I can definitely see the online being addictive.

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Master Of Orion Remaster

Starlanes ruin the exploration element that made MoO2 so much fun. You’re not free to explore the galaxy and it’s too easy to create bottlenecks (in SPACE for goodness’ sake). I sent my war machine on a rampage and then forced my enemies to vote for me in a diplomatic victory, because I believe in PEACE.

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Trace Vector

Later levels become kinda easy if you’re not playing for 100% completion (which, as mentioned in my write-up, this was the game that convinced me to stop doing that for every game I play). Lots of warp points and forked paths, but only relevant if you’re going for the pickups. It’s a shame because the soundtrack is superb and the later levels go by too fast to enjoy it. Good game though, recommended.

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Super Galaxy Squadron


Ridiculously vast choice of player ships (17!) so lots of replay if you wanna 1cc with everyone. Otherwise, a fun lil blast ‘em up that won’t tax you TOO much.

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Dysfunctional Systems

Good god, immediately after my write-up where I mention the plot went super hard super fast came the biggest slump in recorded history. Get ready for a hundred pages of off-screen teenage girls bickering about stuff that has no bearing on what just happened! And then it ends! I literally skipped over 80% of the epilogue, thinking it would eventually veer back into story-relevant stuff, but it DIDN’T. I understand it’s supposed to lead into a series (which looks like it won’t ever actually happen) but this is a story that should have ended LONG before it actually did.

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Fault Milestone One

Fault, on the other hand, went from “cute magical princess in trouble!” to a legit dark and good storyline that kept me interested and prompted an immediate purchase of Milestone Two (which coincidentally went on sale after I’d finished One!) This one’s definitely worth a punt if you can stomach kinetic novels.

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Trick Or Treat

Finished it before my write-up! It’s very cute and good!

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Guacamelee

Fun and brawly metroidvania. Later puzzles make good use of the multiple new moves you earn as you go. It’s a little on-the-nose and memey for my tastes, though- would be nice to see it try to stand on its own legs a bit more.

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Stealth Inc 2


It’s fine, but I got tired of it. The overworld map changes around after you complete levels and it got frustrating trying to figure out if I could solve a given puzzle or if I needed to finish another level first. Also, light/dark mechanics in puzzle games are never welcome. Let me see the whole playing field!

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Wondergirl Dragon’s Trap

Adored this one. So many little artistic flourishes and a superb OST make this an easy recommend for anyone who can stomach somewhat-archaic gameplay.

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Earthbound


Still working through this one… I keep forgetting about it until it’s too late in the day to get back into it, plus it’s on my SNES Mini and the TV is often in use for other things. I wish Paula was a little more durable, she keeps dying in basic random encounters and I have to go get her revived again. It’s definitely got a sense of humour to it that I enjoy, though. I’ll get there eventually.

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Without Within

Finished it before my write-up! Very short and free!

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Stootdoot Vootdoot

Absolutely took over my life and took forever to do everything I wanted to- and this is before the recent update patch which added even more stuff to the game (and a multiplayer mode which we didn’t check out yet). If you’re a Harvest Moon type of person, or think you could be, Stardew is the best the genre has to offer. Abigail best.

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Tiny Thief


I only recently realised there’s a lot more levels than I’d originally thought, so I still occasionally drop back into this one. Don’t think it’s available any more, though...

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AA:I

Somehow never finished this one. Despite being a huge fan of the series, I didn’t get sucked in this time. Feels like a different team handled it or something- it has a definite air of “side project” to it, if that makes sense. I’d like to try to get back to it.

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Tadpole Treble

Everything I said about it before still applies- this is an utterly lovely game. I stopped short of getting all the perfect clears so I didn’t get frustrated with the game- I wanted to leave it on a positive note.

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MGS4

This game is so dumb
I had fun with it but a large percentage of that was mocking it with midgi. I think the story and mechanics are too silly to take seriously, but it’s an entertaining romp through some atrocious melodrama nonetheless. (Holy shit, though, it sure treats its female cast poorly)

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Retro Game Crunch

Seven games, each developed over 3 days. It’s more of a coffee-table piece than a game to recommend, although Shuuten is fantastic by itself.

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Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball

A similar story with Rocket League- it was fun, but then it became the same thing over and over. Would be a blast with friends, if anyone played it.

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Hatoful Boyfriend Holiday Star


Not as good as the first title, but I did appreciate the stronger look into Nageki as a character. Don’t start with this one.

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Klang

Effortlessly cool rhythm action platform brawler (yeah), the difficulty level might be offputting to some, especially if your sense of rhythm isn’t on point.

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Kiss For The Petals

Finished it during the BBLC! Cute girls loving girls!

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TAG- The Power Of Paint

A mod of Portal 2 replacing the portal gun with a paintgun which spreads the bounce gel and speed gel anywhere you might care to. Smart puzzles and a fun personality-core protagonist (as these mods all must have), one stage towards the end veers a little too far into twitch-platforming to really suit the puzzle-based series. Don’t let that put you off, but it’ll take multiple retries to ace it.

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Gran Tourismo 3

Had fond memories of playing through the story mode for this one… Not really sure why? It’s finely-crafted, but upon replaying it, it’s clearly not my kind of thing at all. I won races by having a car vastly more powerful than the other racers and not by actually racing well. Not really the point!

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Gitaroo Man

The rhythm-action part of this is a little rusty these days, but there’s enough high-octane high-anime music power to keep this game a must-experience. The Legendary Theme is still wonderfully emotive.

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AnUntitledStory

You are an egg! Free game from the dev of Celeste- the latter’s recent popularity made me think fondly of Untitled so I went back to play it again. Not one for completionists since a lot of the challenges are unreasonable, but there’s a ton of freedom to just go explore the world and see where you end up.

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Diddy Kong Racing

Definitely one that I remembered being better than it actually is… It’s still a fun racer, but the boss fights are obnoxious. Still, lots of fond memories of burning around these tracks got brought back. I used to make up stories… anyway that’s embarrassing to think about so NEXT GAME

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FF1

I’ve played the NES version to death despite its huge, huge amount of jank, so I bought the Android version to play it on the go. No game I know of has yet managed to hit the same feeling of just throwing together a party of any construction you like and going on an adventure. I’d love to see a slightly modernised take on it- keep the heroes anonymous and just let the player build whatever party they want at the start.

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Mario 64

Yah! Woohoo! Yippee! Woah! Oof!

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SimCity


SNES classic (that wasn’t on the SNES Classic). It’s a very lightweight city builder by today’s standards, but that’s part of why I like it.

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Goof Troop

Actually a very well-made co-op puzzler on SNES, I played through this with midgi. Well worth an evening spent with a friend.

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Bucky O’Hare

One of the most criminally-forgotten about games in history, Konami did a great job converting this childhood fave cartoon into a platformer-shooter in their signature style. Five characters with different abilities and weapons, and some real tricky level design. Soundtrack is aces.

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Incoming

Another one from the nostalgia pile, Incoming should have been left there. I first played it as a freebie game with my first ever PC, way back in 1998. It shows. Still not a BAD game, but arcadey thrills have been done better.

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Th16.5

My thoughts from my BBLC write-up remain the case, although it does have a very fun final boss to deal with. Not a great game and I’ll probably never come back to it, but Touhou is Touhou.

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Master of Orion 2

4X games don’t get much better! Think Civ in space, exploring the galaxy for new planets to colonise and alien races to subjugate or befriend. Take the Telepathic trait and you can mind-control conquered planets to do your bidding!

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Pilot Wings

Burned my way through this one to show midgi. It’s still great. I remember spending an entire summer playing my way through it and keeping track of all my passwords. These days I can complete the entire thing in one evening. Times change, huh?

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Nier Automata

Still working through this one… for now, I’ll just say “yikes” and leave it there. Pretty sure this is gonna break my heart a thousand times over.

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SSBU

I skipped SSB4, so it’s good to be back in the saddle! My boy Metaknight’s gone through some changes (what do you mean he can’t just fly infinitely forever now!?) but its the same frenetic chaos it ever was. Actually having lots of fun playing as Zelda!

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The rest of these games I Binned as part of the BBLC, so I have nothing else to say about them. Instead I’ve just linked to the original BBLC post.

Amnesia Memories

Song Of The Deep

Jamestown

Day Of The Tentacle

Doki Doki Literature

Satellite Reign

Jet Set Radio

CTCHHCHHCHHRTCHHCTTCH

Magical Starsign

Rockets 3

Sonic Racing not Transformed

Scribblenauts

Tales Of Zestiria

Mushroom 11

Super Castlevania 4

You Have To Win The Game

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Let's have yours, then- what did you play in 2018?
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Unread 01-18-2019, 11:18 PM   #2
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Haven't done this in a few years (I think??) so... Sure, why not!

Wuppo
A weird, charming little RPGish thingie that reminds me a bit of Paper Mario. Purchased on a whim in the last Steam Sale after having it recommended to me by one of the people in my D&D group. It's not something I find myself strongly drawn to play, but when I do pick it up I enjoy it. That said, it hasn't held my interest long enough to really get very far in it, but maybe I'll get back to it once I've burned through some of my other games.

Just Shapes and Beats
Another recentish Steam Sale buy. Fantastic music and a fun premise, plus a really charming story mode. Most of the levels I've played so far are a decent challenge level, but there's one or two that I've found frustratingly difficult, meaning I'm currently stuck in the story mode on Cool Friends and haven't been able to progress. Oh well, eventually I'll get back into it.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Oh dang, this stupid game is fun. Yeah, it's nonsensical and it makes Celebrimbor super unlikable, but the gameplay is great and it's a ton of fun just wandering around and seeing what the AI throws at you. I'm pretty sure I'm near the end of the actual story at this point, but I don't want to finish what will likely be a depressing ending, so I'm just chasing down orc captains and causing trouble and I'm still enjoying it immensely.

My computer is like 5 or 6 years old and as a result the game runs like garbage, but despite the lag it's still a ton of fun. The Nemesis System is great, and I really appreciate that there are so many different personalities and behaviors for the many, many random uruk captains. They all stand out as individual characters despite having the same 3 voice actors.

Divinity: Original Sin
I really wanted to like this game, but I just can't get into it. Maybe it's just me, but I find it alternating between confusing, frustrating and boring. There's a TON of options for everything from transportation to interacting with objects to quests, but there's often little information presented about those options, or it's explained once and then buried somewhere in some inexplicable place in the menus.

Pillars of Eternity
I prefer this one to Divinity. I've owned it for just a month and I already have twice as many hours logged than Divinity, which I bought in the Summer Sale. PoE has less confusing gameplay, more interesting characters, a better realized world, and somehow just appeals more to me. Amusingly, several main characters are voiced by the same actor, so you can hear Snobby British Matt Mercer arguing with Charmin' Southern Gentleman Matt Mercer and Feisty Scottish Matt Mercer. Honestly though he's such a good voice actor I wouldn't have known they're all voiced by the same person if I didn't watch Critical Role. As a sidenote, many of the other CR team provide NPC voices as well.

I also like all of the notes from Kickstarter backers littered on tombstones throughout the game.

Dishonored 2
I'm on the fence with this one. It's fun, and the Clockwork Manor level is fantastic, but I often felt like this one lacked the substance and plot of the first one. The original game felt like you were uncovering a conspiracy one thread a time, whereas 2 just seems like the NPC Team did all the detective work and you're just here to stab/subdue whoever they tell you to. Plus it's a little disappointing that the most interesting enemy in the game, the inventor Kirin Jindosh, ends very anticlimactically no matter how you choose to deal with him. There's no option to converse with him or do anything other than "kill or permanently maim and remove from the storyline forever."

Plus the fact that my computer is old means the lag and loading times were BRUTAL. Still haven't finished it, as a result.

Jackbox Party Packs 2 & 3
Bought these to play with family during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. They really enjoyed them.


I think that's it for new games in 2018. There's a lot of RPGs, and I don't think I've finished ANY of these games yet. Jackbox packs don't count.
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Last edited by mauve; 01-18-2019 at 11:21 PM.
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Unread 01-19-2019, 09:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mauve View Post
Haven't done this in a few years (I think??) so... Sure, why not!
No one did it last year.

We actually don't have any games in common, but it's always nice to identify another Critter.
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