50 Game Round Up: 351-400 (Jeroen)

Posted: 6th February 2015 by Jeroen in Round-Up

It has been an interesting 50 – between finishing the now-removed games and Peter’s blog guiding our decisions, we’ve been a bit more structured than before, while trying to keep our stats in check as well (we’ll have a Wii game in the next 50, I promise). At the same time, now that we’re here it feels like we’re getting close to the halfway point as well, to the point where we’ve started planning for it.

Most important, we’ve had a very interesting fifty, with some really good games. Let’s go through the best again.

Best Game I Had Not Previously Played

We’ve had some good games and there are several that I won’t go further into because of that. Kingdom Hearts was magical, Earthbound was a visit to an interesting RPG land, You, Me & the Cubes stole our heart, and more. Probably one of the more notable examples is Oblivion, which certainly had his flaws, but which I want to mod around soon for a proper play through the game.

If there’s one game that I really have to give it to though, it’s Loom. As an adventure game, it’s not too difficult, but it’s an amazing story which touched you in a special way. We’ve gone through it in the write-up, but summarized it was an amazing experience that we set through in wonder from start to end. Again, one of those games that are almost art on their own.

Worst Game

It’s tempting to put sports games here. MLB 09 didn’t work for me at all, as an example, and even Football Manager 2010‘s simulation aspects weren’t good enough to convince me. But there’s than that.

For a supposedly major gaming series, Gran Turismo was incredibly frustrating. No matter what the rest of the game is like, if your tutorial section is near-impossible to get through, a challenge on their own, while it’s also mandatory, it just isn’t that appealing. It makes it difficult to get into the game, and makes it feel as if you have to be on top form from the start. As good as the game then could be, it feels ruined already. Unfortunately, getting into the game after that doesn’t improve it a great deal and feels a lot like more of the same – too punishing.

Most Surprising Game

With a fifty this good, there were a couple of games that we weren’t expecting much of going in, but that turned out to be a lot of fun. Obviously, they’re on the list for a reason, but we’ve seen in the past that always doesn’t say much (right, Free Running?). Some, then, do make us happy when we get them and they’re more enjoyable. Very recently, while Phoenix Wright seemed nice enough, we didn’t expect it to be this appealing. Aliens vs Predator was a lot more appealing than expected with the different modes of play from the different species.

Even more so though, Uniracers became a lot of fun. It might have seemed very simple, but the gravity-defying antics of the unicycles were a lot of fun and we enjoyed playing it together. It’s one of those games that takes a simple concept and runs with it, without adding too many distracting features or even trying to make it more challenging than it really deserves. It was a surprising good simple racer.

Biggest Disappointment

 Here’s a tough one. There certainly were some games that weren’t as good as I was hoping, or that didn’t live up to what I wanted. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is an odd example of this, in that we were hoping they’d be more tasteful than reputation suggest… especially for one of the biggest franchises. In fighting games, UFC 2009 seemed to have so much promise that it was a shame it didn’t get there.

My disappointment was on a personal note. UFO: Enemy Unknown is a game I recall playing with friends and getting excited about, but getting back to it now just felt too difficult, too hard to get into. Characters died too easily and it felt like the choices in difficulty, such as its permadeath, were pegged at the wrong level compared to what we were used to now, or that I really wanted to spend time on. I know we have some sequels coming up – some tougher – but I hope some will be more manageable.

Best Blast From The Past

With the many games I did know this fifty, there are several that were just great games to get back to. Classics (for me) like Tetris and Prince of Persia. Theme Park, which was a game we enjoyed playing together as much as we just enjoyed playing it – it’s good to play with someone watching over your shoulder. And Pokemon is one of those series I still enjoy playing and messing around with every now and then.

Most fun though? The Secret of Monkey Island is great fun, as good as it ever was, and it was fun getting back to it and playing through the game (to completion) was a treat. We’ve still got two installment of Guybrush’s adventures coming, and this is enough to make me look forward to them (although, yeah, I finished them already)

Games We Kept Playing

Here’s a clear winner, as between the time we wrote about it and me writing this post, I played through and finished the game. My appreciation of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 was, I hope, clear in the write up, and playing through it completely, seeing all the conversations and having everything pay off made the game even better. It might have, in fact, become one of my new favourite games, if it doesn’t top the list. As it’s from some of the same designers as Planescape: Torment, I guess that is to be expected anyway.