50 Game Roundup: 201-250 (Jeroen)

Posted: 28th June 2013 by Jeroen in Round-Up

Woo! As we round off another 50, we’ve reached the one in four mark. Had we done this in order, we would have managed to get to 1993, having just enjoyed The Settlers (a game I am looking forward to playing).

The past fifty games were dedicated to games Peter hadn’t played before. Mostly to get us past the holidays and cover some titles, but it lasted a bit longer than planned. More interesting, the next 50 will be all games I’ve not played before. An exciting prospect, to be honest, as the new games I’ve been playing through the blog are the ones I’ve been enjoying the most. After the first two hundred games brought us games like Saints Row 2, time to look back at these fifty and see what fun games we played.

Best Game I Had Not Previously Played

It’s a bit odd. As enjoyable as a large part of this fifty was, with plenty of obscure titles we tried, I must admit it’s difficult to point to a real standout game for me. Looking for my pick, I go back to my adventure game roots. Time Gentlemen, Please fits in the line of the lovely Lucasarts adventures like Sam and Max Hit the Road, telling a lovely story with creative gameplay.

Although I haven’t really seen another standout game (other than a few I’ll go into below), there have been some other fun highlights. It’s always fun to play Professor Layton again, although the one we did most recently didn’t do as much as The Curious Village. Aion: The Tower of Eternity was the best of the MMORPGs we played.

Worst Game

Here’s the other side of the medal. There’ve been games we just didn’t get this fifty. In part because of the restrictions we had barring a lot of known older games, the other ones tend to have more special criteria to be included. Deus Ex Machina was one of those. Its gameplay was simple and unappealing, but the scope they were going for is immense and there was the argument that there’s some form of art in there.

One game that doesn’t have that argument, but instead just seems to be an unplayable mess, is Leaderboard. A golf game with impenetrable and imprecise controls that seem to get in the way of any progress. It felt impossible and frustrating. Even worse, having played other golfing games from this era, I know it can be done better. And nicer. And with course customization. It just isn’t worth it and feels like it doesn’t belong.

Most Surprising Game

Some games end up in this list because they looked bad and turned out to be more fun. Nebulus was fun like that, for example, as was Reflect Missile. Eamon and MUD were just different, especially with their age. With the latter, its emptiness was as much of a surprise to us.

The most surprising games, however, are ones that seem simple and straightforward, but turn out to be bonkers and different. Fast, quick, fun and with a soundtrack that just sticks in your head. Yes, I’m talking about Jet Set Radio Future, the skateboarding game with plenty of grinding, different tracks and 90s skater culture that is unironically true to those roots while not getting annoying. It shouldn’t have worked, we should have been annoyed at it, but it made for an awesome game and lovely setting.

Biggest Disappointment

And there’s the other side of the surprises. Some games just turned out not to be as good. Alone in the Dark just wasn’t as good as I remember – just because of how it aged. I can’t blame it for it, and it’s not a bad game, just not as good as I was looking forward to. Top Spin 3 could have been better than it was. And Monster Hunter… worse than we expected from beginning to end.

Most of them, however, came from the MMORPG category. We felt pressured to play them because some were starting to close down. We didn’t really mind in general, as we enjoyed some – Planetside was fun, Aion was mentioned before, and Eve Online was interesting. Others, however, didn’t live up to the hype. I was expecting more from Runescape, but (technical issues aside), it just didn’t live up compared to what people around us thought of it. Seeing a recent cinema advert that simply didn’t match the actual game doesn’t help there.

Worse, though, was Ultima Online. It was the big one, the granddaddy of them all. I looked forward to playing it as it was one of those games I’d wanted to play for a decade. It just didn’t live up. The redone, upgraded graphics just weren’t and the gameplay was too confusing, involved, and irrelevant to the rest of the game. I couldn’t find my way around, even to get out of the initial area, and soon didn’t fancy playing any further. Having played other MMORPGs, it just wasn’t relevant anymore.

Best Blast From The Past

There were surprisingly few games I played again this fifty. Not as worthy for this category was Cursor*10, which was fun to play again, mostly.

It was fun to revisit Fallout again, which is as it should be for our 250. I’d use this as blast from the past, but to be honest, I’ve been playing it recently enough to really be such. Great fun though, and will be revisited soon.

But no, there’s another game I loved going back to. Plok is a flashback to my SNES-playing childhood days. A funny story that leads to a difficult, addictive game, with some nice game touches and creative, colourful design. Showing all the things the SNES can do over the SNES and making for some fairly pretty games. It was great to play… and Peter enjoyed it as much, which was a pleasant confirmation as well.

Games We Kept Playing

There’s been a few games we’ve been getting back to. Castle Crashers has been a recent addition to our multiplayer arsenal, for example.

The one I’ve been spending most time on, however, is Mass Effect. Yeah, it’s a great game from Bioware (as will be mentioned… well, in a future post). But more importantly, it’s lead us to continue playing for its sequel. Peter finished it quickly and right now I’m doing my best to play through it in my spare time so we can play Mass Effect 2 (and part three once we’ve done that). It’s fun, it’s a good RPG with good conversation and other options. We’ve enjoyed the combat and the roleplaying and want to see how it ends. This is helped by the linking of the save files – we know that what will happen in the next game will be affected by what we do in this one. That, too, feels awesome, and gives more of a reason to keep playing. More soon, we hope.

  1. […] readers may remember that this set of fifty games are all games I haven’t played before. And today we get a game where we are very strict about this, as I’ve played the hell out of […]