50 Game Round Up: 651-700 (Jeroen)

Posted: 13th June 2018 by Jeroen in Round-Up

These most recent fifty have been interesting. Picking mostly random games, I had some big surprises (and some good games I threw back because I really had done too many of that genre). At times I’m unprepared, often I’m surprised, and at least I got to plan far enough ahead that I knew what sort of thing was coming – something I needed if I don’t know how much time I’ll have for a game.

Over two thirds of the way through, the milestones are coming now and I feel like getting through the rest and finishing this. While it’s still three years off, the box of games is getting emptier (I’m getting closer to fitting the lid on!) and all piles are getting smaller. Three hundred or so left, and I feel ready.

Before we get to the next fifty, though, let’s look at the best and the worst of the past fifty.

Best Game I Had Not Previously Played

I’ve got a bunch of good ones in this list of games. I’ll cover a bunch of others in the group as well, but my top two came at the end.

Despite its control flaws, Pikmin presented an interesting world and premise and surrounds you with incredibly cute creatures. There’s a toybox feel to it, with large colourful enemies and some building and putting thins together. There’s something that works and I really should be playing the sequel soon to see all of it.

But speaking of toyboxes, Chibi-Robo appealed to that the most. You’re playing a toy, intelligent and helpful, there’s a lot of personality in the game, including in the silent protagonist. There’s plenty of small tasks to keep you occupied while you explore and figure out the bigger tasks. Although it’s set in a house, it feels like a large house to explore. There’s something exciting about being shrunk and explore a familiar situation at this scale, which this case takes great advantage of.

Worst Game

I feel like there were a bunch of games that didn’t sit well with me. While I’m not bothered by violence and try to explore different points of view, sometimes it does get to me and (perhaps because of recent events) they get to me more. Manhunt would also fit in this pattern, gratuitous without a pay off.

For that reason I am also tempted to put Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell here, as the reactionary politics really put me off – and I think I’m just soured on the series now. For a stealth or action game, this feels a bit disappointing anyway, so it doesn’t work.

But then there’s Spindizzy,and while there’s something hidden deep in there, for me it’s a game that just didn’t work. The controls were awkward to use and I felt blocked from really making any progress. It just wasn’t for me, age is partially to blame them, but that’s what it is.

Most Surprising Game

At this point, it feels like the point of surprise has shifted as I’ve generally explored more about the game and have a better idea what each game brings – the research seems to be doing that for me and I pick up bits as I play along.

Star Control 3, then, didn’t quite come out of the blue, but its mix of genres, the options in which you could tackle certain problems and the different things that there are to accomplish make for a game at an amazing scale that feels like it exceeds what we would otherwise get. I need to get back to it – especially as some see it as the weakest of the series – and explore all of them.

Biggest Disappointment

As for disappointments, I can do this rather quickly – there was one game that was always high on my list, a cool concept and setting that I wanted to explore and see a lot of, using adventure and RPG mechanics – but applied in a way that didn’t work, especially when combined with some horrible controls. Bioforge was not what I was hoping to play and I had to leave it far earlier than I wanted to originally.

Best Blast From The Past

I’ve only played a few games that I’ve played before. Both Spy vs Spy and Command & Conquer: Red Alert were games I played a long time ago, mostly with friends, and while it was fun to revisit it didn’t quite hit that point for me.

On the other hand, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time was a game I played an awful lot of, and revisiting that was really good. The Mario RPGs are good fun, and this entry in the Mario & Luigi series is a good example of that, showing off a lot more details and options. One game that I am happy to revisit.

Games We Kept Playing

In a way these are the real hits, aren’t they? The games that didn’t end when we moved to the next. This time there are actually two games I could apply this to.

We covered quite a bit of the Walking Dead while playing, but finished it in a few sessions afterwards. It remained an amazing story and became more compelling as we got deeper into this world. It’s a masterpiece, still, that I loved making my way through and it’s probably the biggest win of the fifty.

Persona 4, in the mean time, is a work in progress as the game is that much bigger. I’m slowly making my way through – still expanding my party as, it seems, more options keep popping up. But it’s the social aspect that fascinates me far more than the tower climbing, just telling stories of these growing friendships. It’s a fascinating concept that I need to see more of.