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Unread 01-02-2018, 10:50 PM   #1
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Default Games of 2017

Once again, here is my annual review of the games I played in the course of the year. I usually only include games I haven’t played before, but this year I spent 6 months without a decent computer and therefore it’d be a very short list if I did that. Alphabetical order for no reason. Quick mention to Love Live School Idol Festival which three years later I’m still playing- much less so now that the mu’s story mode has ended (I’ve tried to, but I just don’t care about Aqours in anywhere near the same way) but I still play every mu’s event. Looking forward to what All Stars is going to bring us! I miss my girls!


Borderlands 2

A pretty fun FPS, the randomised weapons keep things interesting. I started off as the Gunzerker but I found myself resorting to sniping 99% of the time so I used a save-editor to change myself to the sniper dude and had a much happier time of it. It got kinda dull after a while though and I haven’t finished it- enemies either stomp you or go down very quickly with no real strategy involved beyond “snipe the head”, and there’s no actual impetus to do well. If you die, you just respawn a little distance away with less money (which you get an abundance of and is also not very useful) and you get to keep all the EXP you’d earned up to that point, so you can just bum-rush a group of enemies and die over and over until they’re done. A LOT of the sidequests also boiled down to “go back to this place you already cleared and do the whole thing again and the enemies are the same so they aren’t worth killing any more in EXP terms but you still have to in order to survive”, which was boring. However, it probably would be a lot of fun to play it co-op with a friend, which unfortunately I wasn’t able to do. The writing is FANTASTIC though, it’s a very funny game and Handsome Jack is SUCH a cock.


Breath Of The Wild

I mean… I don’t need to spend long talking about how exceptionally good this game is, right? Everyone already knows that. It’s really, really, REALLY good, and lets leave it at that. What I do want to talk about is something this game does that no other game has ever done for me- it made me fear for my life.

Even encountering a fairly simple mob of monsters brought with it all kinds of considerations- is it worth engaging them? Using up my equipment on these enemies when I could just avoid them might be the wrong decision, or do they have something I need? Can I sneak around them or will I be spotted and have to engage them anyway, so should I get the drop on them while I have the advantage of stealth? One of the mob is a stronger version than the rest, can I even fight him without being killed in one hit?

It’s so interesting to me- usually I throw myself into a challenge and if it’s one that I’m not matched for, I just shrug it off and come back later. This is, I think, the first time I’ve ever had that feeling of genuine survival in a video game. Really great stuff.



This space simulator from the Amiga era was an astonishing technical achievement at the time, squeezing an entire galaxy into a single floppy disk. The game presents space in real-world scale and it literally takes days to traverse a solar system (you can increase the speed of game-time though!) and it also observes newtonian physics with the way ships move in space. There’s no goal- simply live your life in space and try to get by. A childhood fave that’s still enjoyable, but it’s gotta be your type of game to begin with.


Golden Axe

Played this co-op with Ruu! Golden Axe is a game that you HAVE to play with a friend- it’s dull as dishwater solo but with a buddy it becomes a good laugh. Gilius Thunderhead and Tyris Flare killed Death Adder and Death Adder Junior and saved the king and princess!


Gunstar Heroes

Treasure’s debut is also one of their finest games and a fantastic run’n’gun in its own right. We played this co-op too and had a total blast. It’s one of the jewels in the crown of co-op and if you have someone to play with you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more fun game to burn through. It’s also a lot of fun to play solo, which I did on Hard difficulty for the first time ever. I usually run chaser+chaser, but in Hard mode it doesn’t do enough damage so I opted for fire+laser, which apparently can destroy bullets!


Hatoful Holday

Played the first chapter of this one- the first game was really gripping but this one didn’t grab me quite so firmly. I want to come back to it though, and I’m sure it gets a lot more compelling later on.



I had the sudden urge to play this rad-as-heck indie game out of nowhere to find that after 6 years, it had been updated just a week before I got the urge. Playing through again with the improvements, this is still a great game made even better- it’s a run-n-gun that’s a little bit metroidvania, with upgradable stats, but where it shines is in the writing and logbooks you’ll find within. The world has been destroyed by the alien race known as the Tasen. A team of scientists who survived the onslaught use the Tasen’s nanotechnology to revive Iji, in the vain hope she might be able to save what remains of Earth. I actually think this game will appeal to Undertale fans, strangely- there’s a similar pacifist/aggressor system in place (though not to the extreme of Undertale) that makes playing through in both styles worthwhile. For the dedicated, the game is absolutely riddled with secrets and bonuses to find if you’re wily. Huge recommendation and it’s completely free.



2017 saw the arrival of a new friend who surprised me with their knowledge of this game. Confronted with the fact that I’d bumped into someone who knew about one of my favourite games of all time, I had no choice but to play through it once more. It’s beautiful, it’s brutal, it’s smart, it’s brutal, it’s another masterpiece by the geniuses of Treasure, and it’s available on Steam for goodness sake BUY IT.


Jak and Daxter (+2)

This series is midgi’s special series from childhood, so she had to share it with me. This is the PS3 collection. I finished the first one and played some way into the second which I’m still working on. The first is your standard collectathon platformer fare that was popular at the time- Jak has a janky double jump that was frustrating several times, but it’s fun. The second game I’ve enjoyed a lot more so far, becoming more of a run-n-gun/platformer that overall has a much darker tone. I need to get back into this one but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played so far.


Kirby Robobobobobobot

Oh man, what an unbelievably fun and tight game. If you’ve played any kirby game before you know what to expect here, a fun platformer where you can absorb enemy abilities to use as your own. This one has the same puzzle/challenge aspects as games before it, with each level containing 3 Puzzle Cubes to collect, rewarded after solving something a little tricky or out of the way. New to this game is the Robobot Armour, which is so so so much fun to roll around in that I can’t even begin to explain. It’s so satisfying to jump in the armour and just blast through a level, and it’s used really well too- it never feels like a gimmick and you get to use it a lot. The final boss (the final encounter, I should say- there’s like 5 final bosses without including the secret and bonus extra final bosses) is great and there’s one mindblowing scene at the end where I was watching open-mouthed with surprise. Also, the soundtrack is AMAZING- it has one of the most intense final boss themes I’ve ever heard (spoiler free link), and the rest of the soundtrack has a nice crunchy metallic, mechanical sound to it. Huge recommend.


The Last Of Us

Bloody hell, it’s grim isn’t it? I enjoyed it though, the story doesn’t have many smiles but the gameplay is a lot of fun. Stealthing around and sniping jerks was the best, but the game seems to send more enemies in out of nowhere if your stealth breaks which means you can get blindsided from an area you just cleared, which is irritating. It’s very good at making ammo feel scarce but giving you enough you don’t feel like you need to conserve everything, which also rewards exploration.


Love Nikki

F2P mobile fashion dress-up game with a bewildering array of options, there’s literally 1000+ items in each category to choose from and the art is SO PRETTY. It’s not just dress-up, there’s a story mode to play through and events to unlock more outfits, plus clothing item “evolution” (collect X amount of one item and you can spend them to upgrade it). There’s a lot to do here!


Pikmin 1 and 2

Playing them both together 10 years on, I definitely would say the first game is stronger. The second added a slew of new features and QoL upgrades, but the lack of that 30 day timer really changes the feel of the game. That little bit of pressure in the first game was just oppressive enough to make you plan your movements and constantly re-evaluate your priorities, all of which was missing from 2. People considered it better back in the day to be without the timer, but I disagree.


Pokemon Moon

I was entirely ready to declare this my GotY until Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon were announced, and now I kind of feel like I got stiffed with half of a game. But, evaluating it on its own merits, this is the best pokemon game I’ve played. I’m not entirely sold on all the new ‘mons (but Decidueye is AWESOME) but I appreciate all the ways this game finally breaks the constraints that the series has had since gen1.Major criticism I have for this one is the dull soundtrack- considering Gen5 and 6 had great OSTs it was a real disappointment.

Later on, as part of my Gym Leader Umi challenge, I came back to play the game in a more competitive way (or at least, I built a team that had competitive viability) and it provided a very different experience. It’s not quite as friendly to this style of play as Gen6 was, but breeding is quick enough and thankfully you don’t need to level your team up to 100 to use them (as online will automatically level them up to max). Nintendo’s online is still janky as heck, but this is the best it’s ever been, and I had a lot of fun playing the game in a different way. (Again, USUM tempered this by adding a slew of new stuff and rendering all my work to have been in vain, because now people only play the new games… and they aren’t compatible)


Super Mario Odyssey

Only played it VERY briefly cos we wanted to finish BOTW before jumping into this, but I’m impressed so far. I really like how it doesn’t tutorialise much- you just find stuff and interact with it and it WORKS and it’s cool.


Super Mario World

Timeless, flawless, 2d platforming perfected. Can’t be beat.



Bloody wars, this puzzle game is HARD. I didn’t want to just use guides because then what’s the point, but I definitely used youtube thumbnails of guides to see what kind of situation I needed to get my snakebirds to halfway into the level so I could work my way through from there. This game isn’t gentle at all, recommended if you like brainbreakers.


Sonic Generations

Like Sonic Adventure 2, this game feels janky and a little broken, but still manages to be a great deal of fun to play. I actually finished it to 100%. Contrary to popular opinion, I found the Modern Sonic levels to be better overall than Classic Sonic, but they’re both good. Some of the bonus challenges were bollocks (screw you Vector The Crocodile!!!!). The soundtrack though, hoo boy, Sonic games never fail to provide an excellent soundtrack and this one plays with the nostlagia of the older games but does enough of its own thing to be worthwhile in its own right. This rearrangement of City Escape made its way to my playlist.


Sonic Lost World

Aaarrrrrrgggghhhhhh… there’s so much in this game that could be SO COOL. There are so many great ideas and genuinely awesome fun gameplay hooks that are wasted in this game. It’s not at all BAD, but it’s frustrating to play it. I really enjoy the cutscenes between levels, they have some funny moments and good writing. I just… I want to like this game, the snowball level is smart, the under-ocean railgrinding level is so much fun, but for every great moment there’s another enemy or death pit hidden just out of view, or wonky wall-jumping section, or gameplay mechanic that is actually just broken (it’s a Wii U port and there’s one special power that utilised the second screen to play a sort of rhythm minigame- rather than replace it, they just removed the minigame altogether and you can spam the button as fast as you like with no rhythm consideration and it BREAKS). Soundtrack, again, is the saving grace.


Starfox 64

Childhood fave, its still the best Starfox has ever been. Great fun arcade-style into-the-screen shooter, very fast and fluid, branching paths through the game so you can see new levels each time you play. I adore this.



I think…. I’m at a place where I’m ready to say goodbye to TF2. The changes to matchmaking honestly took everything I enjoyed about the game away, and although the base game is still a lot of fun, it’s just not the same. The new contracts and weapons are enjoyable to play with and I wish Pyro’s jetpack had been added three years ago so I still wanted to master it, but it feels like an old friend whose path has diverged from my own now.

still not interested in overwatch though lol



The SNES one, another co-op with Ruu. This one was his pick as I’ve never played it before! It was definitely fun- I feel like I didn’t really have much clue what I was doing but the combat is satisfyingly crunchy and enemies crumble in an enjoyable way. But, damn, what a rocking soundtrack!


Touhou 16

I will say I liked TH15 more, but this one is a great time. I actually liked the Extra stage better than the main game (complete opposite to TH15 whose Extra stage was balls). In terms of the main game, there’s really no reason not to use the Summer power- the others might have Releases that clear the screen or make your shots stronger, but only the Summer power lets you Release a single Option at a time. Losing all your Options every time you release is just too crippling, plus you then can’t do it again for a long time afterwards. Extra’s a blast though, with the backwards-facing shot making you play in unconventional ways.


Unreal Tournament

I had this on another of these lists, but when I got my new PC I wanted to test something. 200 bots on Hall Of Giants, all with instagib rifles. It ran smooth as silk and was complete and utter chaos. Great fun!


Wonderboy 2

Master System version, for reference. This is one of the very first games I ever played, many moons past. It’s still fun, but the decision to include the timer from the arcade version is baffling. The final boss is a little bit BS and game over means start from the beginning. I dunno if I’d recommend it to a newcomer, but if you’re used to the foibles of retro games it’s a good one.


Ys 1 and 2

Played through these again while on midgi’s laptop. The second game is much much better, but they’re kinda two halves of one whole so you need to put up with the first game to get to the second. The maps are confusing, but the combat is fun. Soundtrack is the reason to stay.

That’s my lot of the year! Let me know if I played anything you played and you disagree with my opinion or you have any recs for 2018!
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