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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:25 pm

dsheinem wrote:Hidden Folks is great. Its charm and visual style are really worth experiencing, and screenshots/videos can’t really do it justice.


Agreed. I particularly enjoyed the sound effects, such as cars honking, doors opening, etc., that were clearly just a person saying things like “beep! beep!” or “whoosh!”
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Xeogred Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:09 pm

59. Death Stranding (PS4)

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Finished up Death Stranding last night. Clocked in 48 hours on this one. And I can happily report I pretty much loved all of it. AMA, otherwise I'll just ramble on a bit here.

First off, the game is obviously more in the Peace Walker + era wheelhouse for Kojima. Lots of systems and massive game ground to cover to get to those huge story dumps. We will never know the real story about what happened with MGS5 between Konami and Kojima, along with the odd release of Ground Zeroes itself. But MGS5 clearly felt unfinished in ways and with some leaked cut content/storyboards floating out there, yet what more really needed to be spelled out in the MGS timeline at that point? And I think it was clear Kojima was truly done with MGS, that interpretation and performance for Ocelot in particular really rubbed me wrong. Outside of Miller, the parasite/virus outbreak mission, and the little suggestive twists at the very end... story and context wise MGS5 was utterly barren. The gameplay was phenomenal but rather disjointed in a strange way, as it was never truly open world. You always get dropped off into zones. And nothing about the world design in general was ever exciting. It was just the brown badlands we've seen in hundreds of games by this point.

I like Death Stranding a lot more than MGS5 in basically every department. The story is fully there again, there's a bunch of excellent characters, there's humor that was severely lacking in MGS5 as well, and exploring this world felt like the closest thing to Breath of the Wild that I've played. People have made some Team Ico game comparisons as well that I can see too. There's a lot of systems like the modern Kojima games but when you're ready to gear up with you equipment, cargo, and maybe a vehicle or whatnot, the game just lets you be free and do your thing... exploring this vast and beautiful landscape that frequently changes in structure, climate, visuals and color, it was breathtaking. I continue to notice a trend in that, when Japanese developers do open world, they strip things down keeping it simpler and more focused. The games easily benefit from that. Like Breath of the Wild, while I'm literally carrying cargo around in this game, it didn't feel like I had any baggage on me and I could just slowly take in the sights and enjoy being in this world. Contrary to how a lot of other open world games operate and tax the player with lists of endless quests and menus, waypoints and countless clutter, taking you out of it.

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There's still combat and funny enough this was the weakest part of the game to me in some sections. There are these enemy camps with people called MULE's who are obsessed with stealing cargo. You can't take them out lethally and the game starts feeling a bit like MGS5 around them. Thankfully, in these 48 hours I played I think there were only ~2 main story missions where I had to sneak into a camp to steal something. Otherwise it really wasn't that big of a deal to get through the camps, especially when you start rocking vehicles. The second part to combat are the BT's, the creatures from the "other side" when the game turns a bit into a stealth horror game. Sometimes these moments prop up in annoying sections but you soon learn ways to get around them, or how to deal with the mid boss BT's quite easily. There's story related equipment later on that makes these encounters easier to get through as well. Never my favorite part of the game, but not a real road block either. Beyond these two elements, there were a lot of big boss battles that I really enjoyed personally.

Delivering cargo while exploring this world and integrating mission bases into the "chiral network" is the meat of the game and what I loved the most. Once you get to Chapter 3 and the main map, you're frequently tasked with going through zones that are off the network and can only go in them with your own equipment. But once you bring that zone into the network, the online parts of the game come into play and it's all very much in the vein of how the Dark Souls games have done it with their message system, only here it's taken much further. You will see structures that other players have built or jointly upgraded, roads, shared vehicles, and whatnot spread throughout the world. Helping you and others traverse the land better than before. Giving some players enough "likes" makes you join some kind of pact behind the scenes with that specific player, so you'll see more of their stuff throughout it. Nobody still really knows all the tech and magic that went into it behind the curtain, but it's definitely awesome. Nor does it ever feel like cheating or anything weird like that. You can see the point of the "strand" and connections here.

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Technically, the game was extremely impressive. This is on the Decima engine that powered Guerilla's own Horizon Zero Dawn and while Death Stranding might get some extra points here for simply being newer, I truly thought this game straight up felt and played better than Horizon in every way. You will see these characters tear up a lot too and the tear tech is amazing. Overall, this game really blew me away on the PS4, even compared to high end stuff you get on PC's right now. It's mesmerizing what they cooked up here in three years worth of time.

Aesthetically it's top level work as well with Yoji Shinkawa doing his thing as usual, if you like the look of the architecture and general art direction in Kojima's past games you'll appreciate that here again. Musically I think it's got some composers from MGS5, the usual 80's tint and some synths which I'm always up for, maybe Kojima's been rocking to a lot of Depache Mode thesedays. Huge thumbs up to the art and sound work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI0RsQDyHak

Game made me tear up in the end during a few parts, was blown away by some of the performances. The story is very Kojima and not subtle but you know what? I think that fits a lot with a ton of anime and other Japanese games I've played and love. There's just something about their way of storytelling that I actually dig a lot. I am also a big Kojima fan as well but I don't want to sound like I give him an instant pass, as I've clearly expressed here above with my take on MGS5. I was plenty worried about Death Stranding and pleasantly surprised by what I got, far surpassing my expectations. Death Stranding is abrasively strange but I'm also not going to give it a pass just because it's weird for the sake of being weird at times, it's actually a simple and straightforward experience in a lot of ways. Death Stranding is one of the coolest games I've played this gen and will leave a huge impression on me.

This is a game I think everyone who plays things this gen or will someday, has to check out at some point. And it won't be for everyone, but give it a shot. Don't over think it and just have fun.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlGdH9XCrgk
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by dsheinem Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:41 am

Games Beaten 2019

Kentucky Route Zero Act 1 - PC
All Our Asias - PC
Shape of the World - Switch
Hidden Folks - PC
Hyrule Warriors - Wii U
Onrush - PS4
Assassin's Creed Origins - X1
Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown -360
Metro Exodus - PS4
Split/Second - 360
Far Cry: New Dawn - PS4
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - X1
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite - PS4
Rage - PC
Red Faction: Armageddon - 360
Momonga Pinball Adventure - Switch
Psycho Soldier - Vita (Arcade)
Super Mutant Alien Assault - Vita
Burly Men at Sea - Vita
Sigil - PC
Fat Princess - PS3
Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary - PC
Monster World IV - Genesis (PS3)
Marvel's Spider-Man - PS4
Mega Man X4 - Switch
Armored Warriors - Switch (Arcade)
Battle Circuit - Switch (Arcade)
Borderlands 3 - PS4
Hyper Dyne Side Arms - PS3(Arcade)
Legendary Wings - PS3 (Arcade)
The Outer Worlds - X1
RayStorm - PS2 (Arcade) *new*
Operation C - PS4 (Game Boy) *new*
Kid Dracula - Switch (Famicom) *new*

Total: 34


Previously: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

I have been playing a lot more retro stuff this past month and really digging into the recent Konami compilations.

I had never played the arcade version of RayStorm (which is on Taito Legends 2) , but after playing it I certainly think the PS1 port by Working Designs is the superior version. This was a credit fed run - I can't imagine completing a 1cc run on this, as a lot of the boss attacks are just patently unfair (even compared to most shmups).

Operation C is an impressive game for the hardware, and was a lot more fun than I remembered (I beat this originally about 4 years ago). It is also probably the easiest Contra game I have played (I am currently banging my head against Contra III), but the change of pace was welcome.

Kid Dracula is also fairly easy game compared to the rest of the Castlevania series (at least until the last couple of levels), but it is worth playing through as it is a fine representative of Konami's programming prowess and general domination on the NES/FC. It also has a lot of charm.

I doubt I will get any more games in this month, so compared to past years I am probably looking at a pretty small total for this year when all is said and done. Maybe I can hit 50 if I really push it, but I'm guessing 40 or 45 is a much more realistic target...
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:50 pm

Try Kid Dracula for the Gameboy sometime. Despite the lack of color, it is superior to the Famicom version in every way.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pook99 Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:40 pm

@xeograd: very nice review of death stranding, from everything I have seen it seems like the type of game that would absolutely bore me to death, it is also a game that seems to stir up alot of drama on the internet and I'm not really sure why people are so judgy over opinions of this game vs most other games I have seen.

182. New Super Lucky's tale (switch)

This is one of the most pleasant surprises of this year for me. NSLT is just a really cute, fun platformer that is easy enough for kids to play and fun enough to make anyone want to play through it.

Lucky is a fox and part of a clan of guardians tasked with protecting a sacred book of magic. An evil cat (all the bosses in this game are cats) named jinx attempts to steal the book and use it for his own nefarious purposes. In the shuffle all the guardians get locked away and the pages of the book are scattered throughout the world. It is now up to Lucky to find all the pages of the book before jinx and his minions can and hopefully free his relatives from wherever the magic transported them.

NSLT is broken up into 6 worlds, each world has an overworld with a whole unique cast of characters which give each level tons of personality. There are several levels in each world and these are broken up into standard 3d platformer levels, 2.5d levels, overhead levels, and auto running levels. All of these are very fun to play and the constant switching between gameplay types keeps the game fresh and fun throughout the whole adventure. Each level has 4 pages to find, one for completing the level, one for collecting 300 coins, one for finding all the letters in the word L-U-C-K-Y, and one that is hidden in some form of minigame or platforming challenge.

Controls in this game are simple, intuitive, and responsive. There is a jump button, a tail swipe button, and an interact button. Lucky can jump on enemies or tail swipe them and kick them when they are stunned. In addition to this lucky has a homing ground pound and can burrow underground to avoid obstacles and dig up hidden treasure. Lucky is a lot of fun to control and you can seemlessly string together his moves for some cool acrobatic stunts.

If I had to sum up this game in one word it would be charming. Lucky is adorable and there are tons of adorable costumes you can dress him up in, he is probably the most huggable video game character in history. The entire cast is equally cute and charming. Each world has its own inhabitants there are wrestling monk yetis, cowboy worms, and so much more silliness in this game, every world and every character is completely endearing. The bosses are also loaded with personality and each brings their own unique style to taunting lucky in each level before ending in a boss fight, all of which are a lot of fun. Each world is colorful and a joy to navigate.

If you are a fan of cutesy mascot platformers than you absolutely need to check this game out, it is one of the best I've played in a while and fits in nicely on the switch.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:57 pm

First 50
1. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary (NDS)
2. Reigns (iOS)
3. Castlevania: The Adventure (GB)
4. Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (GB)
5. Castlevania Legends (GB)
6. Yankai’s Triangle (iOS)
7. Mega Man III (GB)
8. Mega Man IV (GB)
9. Mega Man V (GB)
10. Sin & Punishment (N64)
11. Love You to Bits (iOS)
12. Mega Man Powered Up - Old Style (PSP)
13. Mega Man Powered Up - New Style (PSP)
14. Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA)
15. Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (NDS)
16. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! (NDS)
17. Detective Pikachu (3DS)
18. Super Fantasy Zone (Genesis)
19. Fantasy Zone Gear (GG)
20. Fantasy Zone - The Maze (SMS)
21. Fantasy Zone (Famicom)
22. Fantasy Zone (NES)
23. Kung Fu Master (2600)
24. Kid Dracula (Famicom)
25. Kid Dracula (GB)
26. Fantasy Zone (TG16)
27. Double Dragon V (SNES)
28. Fantasy Zone II (Famicom)
29. Street Fighter: The Movie (PS1)
30. Fire Fly (2600)
31. Pac Man (2600)
32. Extreme Sports with the Berenstain Bears (GBC)
33. Fantasy Zone (PS2)
34. Space Fantasy Zone (TG16)
35. Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf Fantasy Zone (Genesis)
36. Mega Man (GG)
37. Konami Pixel Puzzle (iOS)
38. Qix (Arcade/NES)
39. Congo Bongo (Arcade)
40. Phantasy Star Gaiden (GG)
41. Phantasy Star Adventure (GG)
42. Panzer Dragoon Mini (GG)
43. Spartan X-2 (Famicom)
44. BS The Legend of Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets (Super Famicom)
45. BS The Legend of Zelda (Super Famicom)
46. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (NDS)
47. Double Dribble (NES)
48. Super Pro Football (INTV)
49. Indy 500 (2600)
50. Tecmo Bowl (NES)

51. Ninja Gaiden (GG)
52. SonSon (Arcade)
53. Wonder Girl: The Dragon’s Trap (iOS)
54. Minit (iOS)
55. Ninja Gaiden (SMS)
56. Surround (2600)
57. Pocket Bomberman (GBC)
58. Shadowgate (iOS)
59. Kuru Kuru Kururin (GBA)
60. Metroid Prime Hunters - First Hunt (NDS)
61. Mekorama (iOS)
62. Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (PSP)
63. Akamajou Dracula Peke (TG16)
64. Darius Burst (iOS)
65. DoDonPachi Resurrection HD (iOS)
66. Vigilante (TG16)
67. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)
68. Oxenfree (iOS)
69. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (NES)
70. Tormentum: Dark Sorrow (iOS)
71. Hidden Folks (iOS)
72. 3D Classics Urban Champion (3DS)
73. Ufouria (NES)
74. Eternal Ring (PS2)

Eternal Ring is a From Software first-person ARPG that is also a PS2 launch title (and that I first started playing for September’s TR.) The game was fun, and challenging, but it has some flaws that kept it from greatness. First, it’s very linear, I stark contrast to other From Software first-person ARPGs. Second, it’s focus on “magic” projectile attacks makes combat a bit of a drag. Third, while it sometimes looks great, the textures are so repetitive that it’s very easy to get lost, making navigation of some areas extremely difficult. Fourth, it has a good bit of From Software trolling, thta is more annoying than challenging. Finally, most of the game feels incomplete. With a little more time, I expect From Software could have ironed out the issues and made a more cohesive game, but I suspect the game was a bit rushed to make the PS2 launch. I complain a lot, but i really did like the game. Parts of it were really enjoyable, and like I said, it is, at times, very challenging. Hesitantly recommended.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:09 pm

Eternal Ring and Evergrace are actually my two favorite From Software games (I have yet to play Forever Kingdom). I like the "PS1 on PS2" vibe.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:45 pm

The textures are definitely PS1 on PS2! Eternal Ring was fine. It just wasn’t as good as King’s Field IV, which is a masterpiece, or Shadow Tower, which is not a masterpiece.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by MrPopo Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:24 pm

First 50:
1. Octopath Traveler - Switch
2. Dusk - PC
3. Forsaken Remastered - PC
4. Tales of Eternia - PS1
5. Resident Evil 2 (2019) - PC
6. Pokémon Trading Card Game - GBC
7. Metro Exodus - PC
8. Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales - PC
9. Project Warlock - PC
10. Magic: The Gathering - PC
11. Ghost 1.0 - PC
12. Call of Duty 2 - PC
13. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - PS4
14. Revelations: The Demon Slayer - GBC
15. Mechstermination Force - Switch
16. Shadow Warrior Classic Redux - PC
17. Lost Sphear - Switch
18. Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal - PC
19. Dragon Quest III - NES
20. Rage 2 - PC
21. Blood - PC
22. Harvest Moon 64 - N64
23. Battlefield V - PC
24. Sigil - PC
25. Shining Force III: Scenario 2 - Saturn
26. Shining Force III: Scenario 3 - Saturn
27. Borderlands 2: Commander Lillith and the Fight for Sanctuary - PC
28. Gato Roboto - Switch
29. Timespinner - Switch
30. Amid Evil - PC
31. Pillars of Eternity II: Beast of Winter - PC
32. Pillars of Eternity II: Seeker, Slayer, Survivor - PC
33. Pillars of Eternity II: The Forgotten Sanctum - PC
34. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Switch
35. Orphan - PC
36. Project Nimbus - PC
37. Hardcore Mecha - PC
38. Grey Goo - PC
39. Giants: Citizen Kabuto - PC
40. Wolfenstein: Youngblood - PC
41. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Switch
42. Metal Wolf Chaos XD - PC
43. Ion Fury - PC
44. Final Fantasy Adventure - GB
45. Astral Chain - Switch
46. Rebel Galaxy Outlaw - PC
47. Blasphemous - Switch
48. Daemon x Machina - Switch
49. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Switch
50. Borderlands 3 - PC

51. Valfaris - Switch
52. Unreal: Return to Na Pali - PC
53. The Outer Worlds - PC
54. MechWarrior 4: Black Knight - PC
55. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - PC
56. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: System Rift - PC
57. MDK - PC
58. Pokémon Sword - Switch
59. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - PC
60. Blazing Chrome - Switch

Blazing Chrome is from the same devs who gave us Odallus and Oniken, both throwbacks to Casltevania and Ninja Gaiden respectively, though with their own tweaks. Naturally, Blazing Chrome is also a throwback; in this case to Contra. And they could not have timed its launch better, given as it came out around the same time as Konami put out a piss poor Contra game. Blazing Chrome is hard and requires memorization to get through on a single life, but continues are unlimited and checkpoints are reasonably generous, so it's not too bad to get through.

As I understand it, the weapon system is inspired by Hard Corps, where there are three weapons besides the basic machine gun that you can flip between if you've collected them, though your active weapon is lost on death. One is an energy flamethrower, one is a grenade launcher which detonates when you release the fire button, and one is a piercing laser that can either be rapid fired or charged for a big blast. When enemies get close you can hit them with a melee attack by hitting the fire button once (so it won't suddenly change if you're just holding it down for your weapons); this attack has a pretty good swing to it, so it ends up being better than the knife from Metal Slug. The game also has three supplementary power ups; a damage shield, an attack bot, and a speed booster. Unfortunately, the latter two aren't nearly as good as the shield, as it eats two hits before being lost. And given this game is one hit deaths that's awesome. The game also occasionally gives you a mech to pilot, which does great damage but moves slowly and you'll lose after several hits that are hard to avoid.

The game gives you four missions to begin with that you can do in any order. The game nicely lets you know the approximate difficulty of each, and it's not just 1 is easier than 2 is easier than 3 is easier than 4. After that you unlock the fifth level, and upon beating that you immediately go into the sixth level, which is just a mini boss followed by the final boss (sort of like Death Egg in Sonic 2). The level structure consists of several sections that are capped off by a miniboss; defeating that miniboss takes you to the next section, and each section serves as a checkpoint. When you game over you can continue from the last checkpoint. This includes that final mini level; beating the miniboss means you'll continue right before the final boss. This helps smooth out the difficulty, as the game is quite punishing.

The biggest thing about the game is that most enemies take several hits to take out, with man requiring even multiple melee hits (though it fortunately has a knockback to non-bosses). Since the game likes to spawn enemies behind you to force you to keep moving you can frequently get into bad spots where if you don't approach the enemies in a particular way they will get to you before you have enough damage on them to take them out. This was my biggest complaint, as I am used to the non-stationary enemies in Contras going down in one hit or so.

Upon beating the game you unlock a boss rush as well as access to the melee characters; they replace getting weapon powerups with having a rapid fire melee attack that has a shockwave component to it. So you need to be more aggressive, but that aggression is paid off with big damage. The only problem is the melee requires you to mash, which will quickly get tiring.

If you're a Contra fan this is the game for you. It even has poorly recorded voice audio like an arcade game for ambiance.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by MrPopo Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:53 pm

First 50:
1. Octopath Traveler - Switch
2. Dusk - PC
3. Forsaken Remastered - PC
4. Tales of Eternia - PS1
5. Resident Evil 2 (2019) - PC
6. Pokémon Trading Card Game - GBC
7. Metro Exodus - PC
8. Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales - PC
9. Project Warlock - PC
10. Magic: The Gathering - PC
11. Ghost 1.0 - PC
12. Call of Duty 2 - PC
13. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - PS4
14. Revelations: The Demon Slayer - GBC
15. Mechstermination Force - Switch
16. Shadow Warrior Classic Redux - PC
17. Lost Sphear - Switch
18. Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal - PC
19. Dragon Quest III - NES
20. Rage 2 - PC
21. Blood - PC
22. Harvest Moon 64 - N64
23. Battlefield V - PC
24. Sigil - PC
25. Shining Force III: Scenario 2 - Saturn
26. Shining Force III: Scenario 3 - Saturn
27. Borderlands 2: Commander Lillith and the Fight for Sanctuary - PC
28. Gato Roboto - Switch
29. Timespinner - Switch
30. Amid Evil - PC
31. Pillars of Eternity II: Beast of Winter - PC
32. Pillars of Eternity II: Seeker, Slayer, Survivor - PC
33. Pillars of Eternity II: The Forgotten Sanctum - PC
34. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Switch
35. Orphan - PC
36. Project Nimbus - PC
37. Hardcore Mecha - PC
38. Grey Goo - PC
39. Giants: Citizen Kabuto - PC
40. Wolfenstein: Youngblood - PC
41. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Switch
42. Metal Wolf Chaos XD - PC
43. Ion Fury - PC
44. Final Fantasy Adventure - GB
45. Astral Chain - Switch
46. Rebel Galaxy Outlaw - PC
47. Blasphemous - Switch
48. Daemon x Machina - Switch
49. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Switch
50. Borderlands 3 - PC

51. Valfaris - Switch
52. Unreal: Return to Na Pali - PC
53. The Outer Worlds - PC
54. MechWarrior 4: Black Knight - PC
55. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - PC
56. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: System Rift - PC
57. MDK - PC
58. Pokémon Sword - Switch
59. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - PC
60. Blazing Chrome - Switch
61. MDK 2 - PC

Hot off the success of Baldur's Gate, Bioware was commissioned by Interplay to make a sequel to MDK. Bioware had yet to be pigeonholed as an RPG company (they were 50/50, as their first game was Shattered Steel, a mech game you should play this month's Together Retro). MDK 2 manages to be both a step forward and a step back compared to the first.

The game actually makes an effort at having a plot, though it is still quite thin. The aliens that invaded in the first game had one more crawler that you go to take out, but then a big guy shows up and fucks shit up, and now the whole team gets involved in fighting off the aliens. Kurt is back in his sniper suit, but now you can control both Max and Professor Hawkins. The game is nine levels plus a final boss level, with the game having you go between each protagonist in turn.

Kurt is just like before, but with some quality of life improvements. He can now strafe while sniping, and has a powerup that makes you invincible while sniping until you take too much damage. This takes a lot of frustration out of the sniping, which is good because they use it more. You'll need to snipe these blue spheres to unlock paths to further points in the level, and certain enemies can only be killed with the sniper rifle. Max is the firepower type; he can equip up to four weapons and will be constantly switching up new ones as you progress through the level (as they all have limited ammo and are discarded when empty). He also has access to a jetpack for traversing certain parts of the level, and dealing with its fuel supply is important. Finally, Dr. Hawkins is the "do weird things" character; you equip an item in each hand and then can use them individually (such as with a healing item or the ladder) or combine them (such as combining bread with the atomic toaster to shoot at your enemies). This leads to three different feeling types of levels, which keeps things from getting quite as samey as the first game.

As you might have picked up from the character descriptions, this game definitely leans more towards the puzzle platformer end of things. Kurt frequently has to figure out the right order to activate sniper orbs, while Max's jetpack segments require you to manage the fuel to get through. And Dr. Hawkins's levels are focused on figuring out how to open a door or defuse a bomb, rather than combat. Unfortunately, the game has some lousy signposting at times. Sometimes the lighting causes you to miss a path to the next segment, while other times it is not obvious what the puzzle is until you start randomly firing and discover a health bar of something destructible.

Some of the platforming is also quite annoying, especially Max's jetpack levels. The physics of it are such that once you start falling you can't really arrest it without burning all your fuel. This makes some segments merely tedious (you need to repeat the same thing too many times) and others punishing without save scumming (oh, you fell, time to repeat ALL that traversal). In fact, the biggest thing I noticed is the game stretches many things out a bit too long. Kurt has a combat arena that is two encounters too many and Dr. Hawkins has a puzzle where once you solve it you have to solve the exact same puzzle twice more. Not variations, just do the exact thing you did before.

I think overall MDK 2 is a more fun game than the first, but it definitely has its share of warts. And the main gimmicks of Kurt are not nearly as interesting as they were back in the day, so that can make things seem a lot more ho-hum to a modern player.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
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