50 Game Round Up: 501-550 (Jeroen)

Posted: 20th October 2016 by Jeroen in Uncategorized

Another fifty gone – the one where we crossed the halfway point and started moving down the hill – it makes the project seem more attainable now. We also did the one game that felt impossible for a long time – another milestone met. Just another five years to go!

Best Game I Had Not Previously Played

I’ll be honest – while there were a lot of good games in this batch, they didn’t always leaving me raving about them quite as much as in some other batches (but then, as of the moment of writing, it’s not been the best few months, so that might influence things).

That doesn’t mean it was all bad, as I still enjoyed plenty of games. One notable entry on my shortlist is Thirty Flights of Loving, a great ‘walking simulator’ style game that impressed me with its structure and detail.

What really got me, though, was Yakuza 2. It was a bit more constrained in world size than true open world games like we see in the Grand Theft Auto series, but that meant the world felt more detailed and authored. It still felt like there was a lot to do and find, while providing the best simple hand to hand combat system I’ve seen in any game I’ve played so far. I absolutely loved it.

Worst Game

As is made clear above, not everything was a success either. Green Beret felt like a rather uninspired brawler/shooter/platformer. NHL Hockey was yet another sports game.

This is very personal, but Tecmo Superbowl felt the worst. For a game about a major sport, I found it impenetrable, thursting options in my face that I had no hope of understanding while not giving me any hints about what I’m doing or where I’m going. Half the time I didn’t know who I was playing as. It turned it into a guessing game that mostly had me sitting there watching it would go somewhere.

Most Surprising Game

Luckily, there were some happy surprises in the fifty as well. Alter Ego sort of was – I had played it before, but coming back to it now, it was far more addictive than I would have expected it to be. And while survival horror can be a bit of an odd genre to get on with here, Fatal Frame 2 did everything right – tense enough without overdoing it.

But man, rail shooters always seem a bit boring and unnecessary to me. However, Dead Space Extraction worked so well. Not as much survival horror as its main series (although there’s still plenty of it), it had a great story and somewhat more varied gameplay than other rail shooters I’ve played. It was a lot of fun to play through for all of this.

Biggest Disappointment

To be honest, looking at this list, there weren’t actually that many disappointments. It might have been a bit more middle of the road, but few things stood out. Mechwarrior 2 wasn’t the blast from past that I was hoping it would be, and that stung a bit – it is true that I’m less accepting of certain game aspects than I used to be.

The game that really disappointed me was one that had a long build up and really was one of the most difficult to get. Reset Generation wasn’t a bad game – in fact, it was quite enjoyable – but I hit a skill barrier a bit too soon. Combine that with the difficulty to get it, and the way the game was praised where we could find it (and we searched a lot) that made the whole thing feel a bit too disappointing. Was it worth the effort? Probably, in the end financially at least it wasn’t that bad. I just wished it could have entertained me a bit longer.

Best Blast From The Past

I haven’t been playing quite as many familiar games in this run, or so it feels. Day of the Tentacle was great for me to go back to, although clearly the puzzles I enjoyed were just as much nostalgia as actual quality.

Even more fun to come back to, however, was Black & White. Sure, the game is flawed, but we spent hours sitting next to each other exploring the world, dealing with our various creatures, finding some bugs but mostly just enjoying ourselves. It might have have its flaws, but it really hit the right spot for us both, and playing together is always the best.

Games We Kept Playing

You know, I have this odd relationship with Minecraft. On a technical level, I love it, I want to investigate the generation mechanisms and where they lead. I want to see the results of it. But the crafting system feels like it works against my interest sometimes, requiring too much knowledge and investment. Even so, I don’t necessarily want to build and craft these elaborate things, and I don’t want to have to keep thinking about recreating tools. I want to go out and explore and adventure instead. The game supports that, but it’s not what it is known for, and that’s what put me off.

Even so, despite this love-hate thing we have with the game, I did come back a few times to explore the area. Always with a bit of reluctance in the back of my head, but still unavoidably fun.