48 Game Round Up: 951-998 (Jeroen)

Posted: 16th September 2021 by Jeroen in Round-Up

As discussed yesterday, we’re not quite biting off another 50, but this close to the end I wanted to get my round up in a bit early so we have a clean run to the end.

I’ll have to admit that writing this post feels more difficult than normal. Being in the final rush to the end, I think the exhaustion of having to judge all the games is hitting me harder, and as I’ve been given myself extra time to play my blog games, the pressure feels like it’s that much greater.

I’ll do my best to give you something though. Bear with me, we’re nearly there.

Best Game I Had Not Previously Played

If I look at my list of best new games, I find myself drawn to the RPGs and adventure games for this batch – I think I’ve saved some of the best ones for this run. I’ll cover RPGs below, but want to mention Chrono Cross as sticking in my mind as being excellent.

But while Cruise For A Corpse had its issue, the dystopian future adventures are the two that really stand out. Do I pick Beneath a Steel Sky, the dystopian idea that felt like the perfect sci-fi version of its kind even if it looks a bit rough? Or do I go for Blade Runner, a game that sticks to the tone and feel of its source so well that any clunkiness is made up for by what it accomplishes and how well it does so, still feeling like a mystery in places.

Pick either, really, and it works here.

Worst Game

The worst games were harder to pick – I guess I had a good eye for what to leave until the end – but there were still some that fell flat. For Burning Rangers, that was because the game’s concept just didn’t work that well as a game, with a console that didn’t quite work for what it was meant to do.

Those excuses don’t really apply to Hidden & Dangerous 2, which gave me trouble on its tutorial and continued to have issues afterwards. I can see how it would work for the fans, but as a casual player it’s a game I couldn’t get myself into.

Most Surprising Game

I have to say, if you want to go most literal, Ninja Gaiden II might be the most surprising, compared to the game that came first in the series – I am still quite curious about going back to it sometimes.

However, as I said above, there are so many RPGs that stand out. I almost put Breath of Fire II first here – an old fashioned JRPG, but one that kept surprising me with the different systems and twists on the formula it had.

But if you really want a twist on the formula, one that surprised and delighted me even if I’m uncertain how long it would have held up for a longer playthrough, you have to play Panzer Dragoon Saga. It actually manages to make a JRPG feel like a shoot ’em up, with a somewhat engaging story, some fine puzzles and in the end a battle system that works. You have to play it to get it, but it’s worth trying.

Biggest Disappointment

For our disappointments this time, we are dealing with sequels that didn’t live up to  the earlier games, where I was hoping for something fun but it didn’t work as well as the original.

I should have expected it for Metroid Prime 3: the control issues were ones that I had experienced with the first game and were the reason I switched to playing the Gamecube versions for the first two. The game had more issues though, with its level design and world being inferior to the second game. Out of the three, it’s the one I would recommend least and would be the one that I would say belongs least on the list.

But then there’s the Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. There was a lot of life and content to the first game’s world, where I felt I kept exploring interesting new places. Dark Athena, in return, dials down on those elements in favour of even more corridors with on going restrictions on what you can do. I just didn’t enjoy it as much and it felt like a real step back rather than a nice upgrade on a fun shooter.