50 Game Round Up: 601-650 (Jeroen)

Posted: 25th November 2017 by Jeroen in Round-Up

Another fifty done, and the work continues – I wouldn’t call it a grind, but we’re not in the most interesting stretch right now, more just business as usual. It’s time to try and draw some games from the list that stood out in this set of games.

Best Game I Had Not Previously Played

Looking back on it, I’m surprised by the number of great games that were in here. Obviously, a lot of them will be good to pay by the nature of the list, but even my short list was long this time. Demon’s Souls gameplay complexity won me over despite being incredibly difficult and obtuse. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. showed me how I would enjoy an open world FPS and System Shock 2‘s FPS/RPG hybrid felt like it could take this position in any other batch. It really has been a good batch, even if it didn’t seem as memorable a number.

I was extolling the virtues of Shenmue II only recently, but that’s because it’s deserved and why it was the last of the fifty – since rebought on Xbox in addition to the Dreamcast copy for ease of use, I’m still hoping the talk of a remaster is going to come true.

The other best game is another sequel of a game we loved. Portal 2 feels like it mixes up the formula more than Shenmue, using the same initial mechanics but adding to it in a natural way. It’s executed really well and stays engaging throughout, at just the right length.

Worst Game

On the other hand, I struggled to actually find many bad games in here, and really put it down. The one that stands out negatively for me is Manic Miner, the old platformer that just doesn’t work anymore these days. Just not quite worth it anymore.

Most Surprising Game

I’ve had a couple of surprises in here too. There are a few games that I wasn’t too sure of, but really engaged me. Grand Slam Tennis was exhausting, but so much fun. De Blob was slightly different, but a lot of fun in the end with an odd premise. Flipnic was a game I was expecting to find middling, but it actually turned out to be a lot of fun.

Most surprising, though, was Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath. In part because I didn’t realise the genre shift the series had undergone at this point, but because, coming out long after 3D platformers established itself, this game knew the tropes and knew how to apply them well.

Biggest Disappointment

I’ve got a few games that really came down as a disappointment. Picking two, the first is Max & The Magic Marker. The concept held so much more promise than it executed.

What really became a disappointment, though, is Lode Runner. I could see soem of the potential, but the last time I played it, I enjoyed it so much more than I did here. Some spark had, sadly, gone missing.

Best Blast From The Past

Before going through this list to prep, I thought there weren’t many games I’d played before – if any at all. There are still a lot of new games, but I’ve played Lords of Midnight a very long time ago, withouth fully understanding it, and it was nice to get some context for it. Thief was a game I experienced through friends as much as I did in real life, and it worked as well there.

More noticeable, I’ve played quite a bit of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga before and while I lost of a lot of muscle memory (a downside of continuing an existing save) the world itself is still quirky and fun and they made for a fun game. Really a series I want to play more of.

Games We Kept Playing

So much to play, so little time! Still, we have a clear winner here. We played plenty of Final Fantasy VI afterwards, and although I need to get back to it, it’s still amazing to play through and was compelling enough to keep playing.