50 Game Round Up: 551-600 (Jeroen)

Posted: 9th May 2017 by Jeroen in Uncategorized

After a rather exciting fifty that featured us making it halfway through the list, these fifty were a lot more basic. At this point, we’re happily coasting along, trying to smooth out any genre outliers (I like having a nice mix) and doing some catching up. There have been some pretty exciting games as well – one that clearly became bigger for me, as we’ll see in a bit – and there’s a bunch I want to spend more time with soon.

The next fifty will likely be more of this, but who cares? I’ve still been leaving some big games I’m (badly) looking forward to while I’ve been trying to get the ones I care about least out of the way early.

Best Game I Had Not Previously Played

So what’s the top game? On some level Skyrim probably hit that for me, but its open ended nature doesn’t feel quite right for me to put here… and to be honest, it’s a game I’ll be coming back to in a bit anyway.

Body Harvest is a game that felt like a milestone on its own. It’s been quite clear that the game, although not the first open world game, pushed the genre forward by setting up Grand Theft Auto 3 as a major gamechanger. It’s been interesting and fun to play.

Even more of a winner today, however, is another game in the Final Fantasy series. Although Final Fantasy X was a big success, I have also felt more affinity with the 2D entries in the game. Final Fantasy IV did not disappoint in that sense, creating some interesting characters where game mechanics interact with the story quite well. I’m looking forward to playing more of the 2D games.

Worst Game

On the other hand, as I feel my appreciation for these games starts to widen, I’m at a point where I don’t feel there were really bad games in the list. There are, however, some that are disappointing or don’t seem to offer much.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts was another game like Ghosts ‘n Goblins, and while it wasn’t a bad game, it didn’t give me much new in a genre that, in the games made at that time, doesn’t appeal to me. It’s a place where arcade difficulty really removes my enjoyment of the game.

Super Stardust HD, on the other hand, doesn’t have that age excuse. Twin stick shooters feel like they’re fairly common, and while graphically it’s interesting, it didn’t engage me as much thinking back on it. There’s some interesting mechanical changes, but the core concept just doesn’t appeal to me.

Most Surprising Game

This far in, the middling games that I didn’t know too much about, other than by vague reputation and idea, can really surprise me more than I felt they did with the original set. Others can disappoint too, of course, but that’s for later.

I know I was going to like Anno 1701, but how close it was to The Settlers series (and its derivatives) was amazing. It really appealed to me and I am genuinely looking to play all of these.

Survival horror games aren’t necessarily my bag, and the Resident Evil series especially hasn’t grabbed me yet. Playing Resident Evil 4 was a big surprise, as it seemed to reinvent the series in a way that makes it far more shootery, but also made it a lot more fun for me to play. I felt I wasn’t fighting the camera as much, that already helped a lot.

What got me most, however, was The Warriors. Sure, it is not going to top my list of best games, but where I was expecting a fairly standard brawlers, this felt like a semi-open, quest based lengthy semi-adventure. It was a lot closer to the Yakuza series than to Zeno Clash, even if it still has a decent fighting element.

Biggest Disappointment

Looking through the list of fifty, there were two games that I put down as a disappointment, each for different reasons.

The first, Snake Rattle N Roll, was one I wanted to be fun based on its age and vague memories of old NES games. Instead it turned out to be more frustrating than I liked, and it ended up not as nice as I hoped.

The other suffers from being an unmemorable sequel. I have played both Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2 in this fifty, having to catch up a bit, and the latter didn’t do it for me. Not just because it wasn’t the best genre for me – although it certainly isn’t – but because it didn’t feel as much fun as the first game, and I actually found the maps less interesting to play, with less variation and fun things than I was hoping for. A real downer, unfortunately, and with more games in the series coming, not a good start.

Best Blast From The Past

Weirdly, I’m starting to feel like I’m replaying less games than I used to. This might be coming from us tackling a large number of borrowed big games, but it’s been making this tricky.

Fable II, for example, was great to play again (and not just as a research thing). I had played it for a few hours before – far less than I did the blog. It was a good one to get back into though, as somehow the game manages to meet a lot of needs that I have for it. It’s far from the perfect RPG, but it was so much fun to play again, especially knowing a bit more what I was doing.

Double Dragon was far more of a return to a game I had played loads. Sure, not this exact iteration, but to be honest, the series never seemed to have strayed far from its roots anyway. It’s probably not something you’d expect from me – I’m not great with side scrolling brawlers – but this sat at the right point of being more playable, without being too over the top.

Games We Kept Playing

And this? There’s just one game that qualifies here, and it might have effectively been the best game of the batch. We’ve gotten fully addicted to Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and while we haven’t finished it after many months, we’ve been creeping closer. There is so much to see and do, and it looks so good, that it’s an amazing world to be in. Far from flawless, but still one of the best.