50 Game Round Up: 401-450 (Jeroen)

Posted: 25th August 2015 by Jeroen in Round-Up

450! It’s weird – on one hand we’re already starting to plan the halfway point, while on the other hand it still seems far away – probably about six months at our current rate. Still, it’s all coming up, exciting times for the blog are ahead!

For now, however, we look back. How were the past fifty games?

Best Game I Had Not Previously Played


I’m not sure whether I’ve become more forgiving or whether we’ve focused more on better games, but looking back, it feels like we’ve played a lot more good games in this run, and more often in general. A lot of these games actually ending up in the most surprising category for me, as there were several titles where I wasn’t expecting it, but some still clearly stood out.

I’m not going to make a choice between these because they feel equally worthwhile, but my best new games are Fable and Final Fantasy X. The former offers an openness of play and magnitude of choices that’s amplified by an large, interesting set of mechanics. It looks good and invites exploration and gaming a great deal and became addicting, even if it needed some work with checkpoints and save points.

Final Fantasy X offers all those things a Final Fantasy game offers, but it feels executed really well. Where our previous entries into the game made them feel a bit overrated at times, this one (possibly in part because it generally didn’t get as much buzz) worked far better. Even beyond the looks and tropical feel of the environments, leading to a very engaging world to experience, the characters are build nicely and fun to hang out with.

Worst Game


While other games were disappointing, there was one in this 50 that just felt objectionably bad. Space Giraffe retreads game concepts that worked twenty years earlier, without adding anything new, instead adding an obnoxious layer of self indulgence. It feels completely unnecessary and not one that I would have expected on this list.

Most Surprising Game


As I said though, a lot of games surprised us this fifty. They seemed like a game we want to do because it’s in the list and to get the numbers right, fine but not something outstanding. When we continued playing, however, we got into them so much that we want to put them on our permanent playlist.

Survival horrors aren’t our big genre, but Silent Hill worked incredibly well, with some jump scares but mostly working by slowly building tension and focusing on the exploration and puzzle solving. There were some issues with how that worked, but on the whole it felt like one of our better entries in it. Trackmania: United Forever was another racer, supposedly with some puzzle elements, but that felt vague. It would probably be fun, but again it turned out to be a lot better than we thought. That was a lot of fun.

The one that fits the bill best, however, is No One Lives Forever 2. Sure, FPS games are good and engaging and we had a bunch of fun ones, but this didn’t seem exceptional – similar to how Goldeneye never really wowed us. When we really got into it, however, it was fun – the charm of James Bond, RPG mechanics with interesting effects and just enough Kill Bill setting and value to go for an interesting twist.

Biggest Disappointment


The other side of the coin, other games just didn’t work out. Metropolis Street Racer was a bland, dull racer. Sega Bass Fishing didn’t offer the twist and engagement we thought it would – too much like fishing, without the physical presence.

The one that bothers me more than anything, though, is ArmA: Armed Assault. It has a major pedigree, with some of its predecessors still forthcoming on the blog. There are a lot of interesting features. It feels like it should be good. It tries to. Yet we couldn’t get on with it, starting with the initial tutorial, and never getting there. It’s maddening and doesn’t seem to be what the game deserves, but it feels linked to what the developers made of it. It was just such a shame.

Best Blast From The Past


 It hasn’t been intentional, but this set of fifty seems to have had a limited number of games that I played before. Looking at it, I think Warcraft III was the game I was most looking forward to replaying.  The story, the looks and the design are all good.

The one that was most memorable, however, was The Settlers. Sure, my original experience was with the sequel, but both playing this – still easy enough to follow with what I remembered of the game a decade earlier – and the sequel, which I had to play a few levels of after we played it for the blog. I need to get back to it.

Games We Kept Playing


Still, that isn’t the game we really kept playing. As it stands, we are probably about a third of the way into Dragon Age: Origins and playing – we are slowly doing our best to finish the game. While you can find some issues with it, it’s a well done game with some interesting and compelling characters and as we’ve been drawn deeper into the game, it’s gotten better. Zevran is amazing. That is all.

On to the 500!