Author Topic: 52 Games Challenge 2022  (Read 14297 times)


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Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #255 on: August 29, 2022, 12:23:09 pm »
Game 10 - Tales of Xillia 2 (PS3) – 45 Hours

The first Tales of Xillia is probably my favorite Tales game I’ve played so far, followed closely by Tales of Berseria. Unfortunately, I found the sequel to be pretty dissapointing.

Unlike the first game, Tales of Xillia 2 takes a very episodic nature with contained, short storylines that all add up to a larger narrative. The main plot in this game deals with alternate dimensions which you must travel to and destroy to keep the world in balance. At first glance, I thought this could be an interesting story mechanic with the potential to explore some wacky or entertaining “what ifs?” regarding the Tales of Xillia universe. However, these alternate dimensions provide few changes from the original game’s setting; other than some superficial visual differences, the only aspects of the characters or scenarios that change is whatever’s directly tied to the objective of the mission. I think there was only one fractured dimension that provided any real variety. It was kind of disappointing.

The game’s episodic story, however, is unfortunately gutted by this outrageously huge debt that you get clubbed over the head with at the beginning of the game. It felt like a painfully jerry-rigged way of pacing the game’s story, and it leads to a very herky-jerky experience. Once you finish the main story episode, everything grinds to a screeching halt and you cannot progress until you provide a minimum payment on your debt, which sometimes led to an hour of grinding between story missions. The literal exact moment you complete your next debt payment, you get a call that allows you to progress in the story. It’s like they didn’t even try to make it less obvious. Not to mention that the person calling you about your debt, Nora, was incredibly obnoxious. I suppose that parallels a debt in real life, but certainly it doesn’t make for a fun game. I don’t know what they were thinking.

I really liked that all the characters from the first game are back. However, I personally felt like only real development consists of whatever happened to the characters between the first game and this game. All character development that does exist is delegated to side-quests, so if you don’t do those, these characters won’t provide you with much. Ludger in particular is very bland because he’s a silent protagonist. I’ve come to dislike silent protagonists in modern JRPGs because they have a really hard time showing any emotion or character. This game was particularly hard because Ludger has some interesting relationships with other main characters like Julius and Elle, and he just doesn’t provide enough of a connection with these characters for me to care all that much. This game also gives you unique choices to pick with your dialogue, but they almost never matter unless you're trying to increase your affinity with someone. This kind of gameplay mechanic is one of my least favorite to be honest, right up there with quick-time-events. Two of the villains from the first game (Gaius and Muzét) join you in this game, which is a little strange, but it’s fine. I thought Muzét was pretty unlikable, while Gaius was pretty entertaining. I also liked that the side quests use certain characters which means you’ll get to spend plenty of time with everyone.

Tales of Xillia 2 pretty much re-uses of all the maps and towns from the first game. This sequel adds some more of Elympios to explore, which was an absolute delight given how little you get to see in the first game. However, you’re mostly travelling through the same areas from the first game, plus a possible third or fourth time in the fractured dimensions and side storylines. It gets fatiguing very quickly, which is why I mentioned I wish some of the environments in the different dimensions would have had a little more flair to them. Not even the enemies are changed.
As far as the combat goes, it was a very enjoyable experience, just like the first game. Not a whole lot has been added, with the main gimmick being able to switch between three different types of weapons that have unique strengths and weaknesses. I liked that mechanic quite a bit, though it does become a big cumbersome managing multiple weapons.

Overall I found Tales of Xillia 2, while a decent game with a lot of potential, suffers from some bad gameplay decisions and really lazy game, character and story design.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2022, 12:40:59 pm by telly »
Currently Playing:
Ring Fit Adventure (Switch), It Takes Two (PS4), The Witness (PS4)

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Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #256 on: August 29, 2022, 12:34:38 pm »
Game 11 - Stardew Valley (co-op, Switch) - 55 Hours

Two games finished over the weekend! Stardew Valley is one of my favorite games of all time and it was really fun to play through it again. Like last time, I counted the main story finished after Grandpa's evaluation, but we'll probably keep playing for a good while after. This game is one that my partner (now fiancé) and I have played a ton ever since we started dating, and there's not a whole lot more I can add to my previous review on the site. It's a delightfully simple yet endlessly complex experience that centers around some amazing core concepts like community, connection with nature, appreciating the simple things, and also the joys of discovery, planning and critical thinking, and goalsetting. I don't really have much to say, so I'll focus on the new things that I experienced on this playthrough.

Ginger Island: This huge DLC pack adds a whole new area with some different things to do compared to the main valley. I haven't spent a ton of time there yet but I've been enjoying exploring the island for all of it's secrets and looking for golden walnuts. I'm not sure if I really like the tropical setting though, it does feel a little out of place.

Two Player: My partner and I played on both Steam and split-screen on the Switch, and each had its fair share of issues. On Steam, we had constant trouble trying to load the game and connect with each other to play. The Switch version had constant hitching and jittering about every 2 minutes or so which is really distracting and sometimes messes up your gameplay. Playing on split-screen isn't really optimized either. Cutscenes for both of you play out doubled on each screen rather than connected as one. Some in town experiences that move characters around like friend-related storylines don't apply for the other player and you can just walk through people's cutscenes. You can only give a player one item at a time, so if you want to give someone multiple items you have to dump them all in a chest first. Just some quirks that could be ironed out.

Overall, this game is a very special experience for me and I will always treasure playing it for the first time and really every time I boot it up. Plus, check out the board game too! :)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2022, 07:57:50 am by telly »
Currently Playing:
Ring Fit Adventure (Switch), It Takes Two (PS4), The Witness (PS4)

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Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #257 on: August 29, 2022, 10:53:01 pm »
40. Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire (GBA)

Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire is an improvement over the original in nearly every way. Obviously being on a more advanced system the graphics and audio are better, but that's just the beginning. The biggest and most obvious improvement is the gameplay where you can actually control the ball and it goes where it should when you hit it with your flippers. The playfields are also a big improvement over the original in terms of layout, rules, and various other elements that make them more enjoyable. Perhaps the only aspect of Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire that isn't a noticeable improvement over the original is the music; I don't really feel like one game is better than the other in terms of the OST, sound effects, or other noises that come from the game. I also don't have the same nostalgia for the GBA sequel either which diminishing my enjoyment slightly, but put these two games next to each other and I'll choose Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire almost every time. (8/29/22) [38/50]
« Last Edit: September 02, 2022, 02:44:51 pm by bikingjahuty »


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #258 on: August 30, 2022, 09:47:23 am »
21. Left 4 Dead (abandoned/endless?)

I had no experience with this series at all. I had believed the Steam page that said it had a single player, but it turns out it really doesn't. It is online only and the single player is just local with bots. This is also not a game you can easily jump into the first time. My first attempt I spawn and am immediately killed. Perhaps this is just a thing that can happen. I had not a chance to set up controls properly, so this wasn't an ideal start. The mouse settings were really off, initially too slow. Using the slider in options wasn't very helpful and I ended up having to turn it all the way down and use the dpi button on my mouse to get something useful.

Weapons were boring. Has a sniper but it has toggle ADS instead of hold. Ended up just using the pistols and hipfire the rifle when I was in the clear. There didn't seem to be any sort of progression. Interesting when the matchmaking starts, it says finding a match for my skill level. Well IDK who is left playing this game after all these years but it put me into a hard mode game. It was fine, I made it through to the end. Maybe there were more levels, maybe there were more weapons, idk but the gameplay wasn't enough to keep the game around as something to just fool around with. It reminded me of a low-tier Killing Floor and I have no time for that game either.

It is good to see there are still many players who are playing this game and an active modding community.

I won't be bothering to play Left 4 Dead 2 either and moved onto Evoland II instead.


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #259 on: August 30, 2022, 05:00:14 pm »
« Last Edit: August 30, 2022, 05:02:16 pm by jipsy »

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #260 on: August 30, 2022, 09:36:26 pm »
26 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES - Cowabunga Collection 2022) - BEAT - This is one of those notorious NES games for me as a kid that I played off and on, but never beat.  I don't think I ever got past the area where you save Splinter.  Thankfully with the help of this collection that removes slowdown, sprite flicker, offers up a save game, and has rewind, I was able to beat it finally.  And thank god, because this game is the worst lol

This is one of those old games where the hit boxes were awful, a lot of enemies can take multiple hits, sometimes they don't, a lot of the time they do, and certain Turtles, like Raph and Mikey are at a distinct disadvantage with shorter weaponry, effectively making them useless and only used when you lose Leo or Don, but even then, you'll more often than not just take a ton of damage, because attacks are slow, and movement is floaty.  The hitboxes in particular are at their worst in the underwater level, super notorious for its awful design, and towards the end when fighting the Technodrome and dealing with the flying space suit guys.

I still have nostalgia for the game, my love for TMNT pushed me to keep on, but I'm pretty sure that since I completed it, I will never play it again, unless it's with a rewind feature I can abuse to get me through areas lol

27 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (NES - Cowabunga Collection 2022) - BEAT - This was a quick one to check out as I hadn't ever played this one before.  I played the game on SNES and I think Genesis, but never played this one.  A pretty simple fighter, but I would say decent enough, like it doesn't feel bad to play, there just aren't a large variety of moves and while I dd use the rewind a little after having Raph wreck me a good half dozen times, I did start to figure out the trick, which was mostly jump in or slide, get a hit, and if getting a hit or block, throw.  Throw is what you need to do no matter what as it does the most damage lol  Overall just okay.

28 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (GB - Cowabunga Collection 2022) - BEAT - Another old TMNT game I've never played, I had a Game Boy Color, but I don't think I ever played any of the TMNT games for Game Boy.  This one is okay.  I mean, it's a Game Boy game, it's very simple, very short, but I was alright with it, especially after dealing with the nonsense of the original NES game.  Gameplay is fairly stiff and slow, but it all functions fine.  No real complaints other than some of the art looks a tad goofy, especially after seeing what the art becomes in the following games which seems like a nice upgrade.

29 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Back to the Sewers (GB - Cowabunga Collection 2022) - BEAT - Big step up from the last one.  Gone are the empty backgrounds and kinda basic art, as they now look more like the classic cartoon turtles and there are full backgrounds.  Also a notable step up in difficulty, for better and worse.  Better in that the first game is super easy, especially all the bosses and there's more variety happening in terms of what you are dealing with.  The downside is that it shows a lot of issues with the gameplay, mostly that you can't hit anything above or below, making for a lot of annoying hits.  Some sections have bad enemy spawns and a combination of that and the slow movement makes for a few real frustrating sections and getting away and to bosses to hit them and not get hit back can be frustrating.  I think if this game didn't have you waddling the entire away, it would be more tolerable.  It's annoying aspects aside, I did generally enjoy myself more here.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2022, 10:18:23 pm by kamikazekeeg »

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #261 on: September 03, 2022, 08:57:37 pm »
30 - Puzzle Bobble 2 (Neo Geo - Playstation Release) - BEAT - Had a sudden nostalgic urge for Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move and found out I could grab it on Playstation.  It's just a charming as heck time, I have a lot of love for this series as I use to play it a bunch at a laundromat that had one of those multi-game Neo Geo cabinets.  It had one of these, Samurai Shodown and I think 2 other games.  It's just a good game.


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Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #262 on: September 05, 2022, 02:21:05 am »
35. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master

Quite simply, one of the finest action-platform games ever made. Difficult, but fair in that it gives you the tools and control to improve your skills with practice. High-end play is possible with mastery of blocking and ninja magic.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #263 on: September 05, 2022, 09:05:37 pm »
7. The Quarry (PS5)

Overall, I really enjoyed it. The overall story kept me interested to see how the story turned out. On my first playthrough, I really messed up and certain characters didn't make it. This game does like to tempt you in making bad choices, and the game makes sure there is a punishment for bad choices. A great game, but I think Until Dawn is slightly better in some aspects though.
Currently Playing: Game & Wario



Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #264 on: September 09, 2022, 11:21:35 pm »
52. Saviors of Sapphire Wings

It feels correct to have my 52nd game be an RPG, and an excellent one from Experience Inc. at that. This was another solid dungeon-crawler. I really enjoyed getting to know all of my squires. They all had something to contribute to the story, all had their own personal struggles and motivations, and all added a special something to the somewhat empty world. There wasn't a single, "Now I'll say 'yeah' to get my air time" moment which I really appreciated. Oh, and the dungeon crawling was fun, too. Sadly, post-game won't be getting any of my attention since I have to get two characters I neglected (Tulip and Popolog) to 7 and they're currently at 5.
If you make me your enemy, you make the world your enemy.


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #265 on: September 10, 2022, 10:53:23 pm »
53. Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness - Hello Abyss mode

I knew even before popping this in that it would be a bad game. But I wasn't expecting it to be this bad. Spike Chunsoft cannot develop a decent action game to save their skin. Everything about this game screams clunkfest. And the worst thing is that you have to finish Hello Abyss mode before you can unlock Deep In Abyss mode. The problem here is twofold. First, it's silly to have to go through a small portion of Riko's journey before unlocking the original one for the game. Second, Riko starts at level 5 and with extra goods under her belt. It gives a poor sense of what you're actually up against when you begin Deep In Abyss mode in earnest. I can't picture me getting far in this. Shame, since the anime was really great.
If you make me your enemy, you make the world your enemy.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #266 on: September 11, 2022, 02:19:52 am »
41. The Last of Us: Part I (PS5)

While I'm not one of the many people that lauds The Last of Us as one of the best games ever made or a perfect 10/10 game, I do definitely love this game and sing most of its praises. So when the remake (remastered remaster???) was announced and would have TLoU2's graphics and game engine I was pretty excited. So excited in fact that I dropped $70 on a game I knew I'd played before several times on the two previous generations of Playstation consoles. And once again, TLoU did not disappoint...well for the most part.

This game looks incredible, sounds incredible, and while its gameplay felt smoother and more refined than the previous versions of this game, it wasn't dramatically different enough to make me feel like I wasn't just playing the same game I've already beat 2 or 3 times. Some of the more frustrating parts of the game were slightly less frustrating as a result, but overall my enjoyment of the game was about the same. In fact, at times I could have forgotten I wasn't playing one of the previous version of TLoU, that's just how close the two are. I think I'd recommend this game at its current price to anyone who either hasn't played TLoU or is just one of those TLoU super fans that adore this series through and through. However, if you're someone who may have played TLoU on the PS3 or PS4, I'd just wait for this game to drop in price ($40 or less) before grabbing it and re-experiencing it in modern game graphics. You will have an excellent time, you will like the story a ton, but just don't think this remake is going to dramatically make the game better, at least it certainly didn't do that for me. (9/11/22) [44/50]

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #267 on: September 11, 2022, 12:41:41 pm »
42. Outrun 2 (XBOX)

As iconic of a game as the original Outrun game has become, it's hard to imagine one of its sequels being better. But indeed Outrun 2 is. While not as visually impressive as the original relative to the periods of time these games were released, Outrun 2 has the original beat in nearly every other way. It has more cars to choose from (all licensed Ferrari models from the early 2000s and prior); the gameplay is a marked improvement, especially the super fun drift mechanic; and the audio has tons of great new tracks, as well as old ones, that fit on perfectly with the feel and vibe of this game. Speaking of the vibe of this game, it has an undeniable late 90s/early 2000s Sega charm that anyone who loved what Sega was releasing around that time will absolutely love! And as far as the XBOX version goes, there are various extra modes to choose from, although all pale in comparison to Mission Mode where you will play through a bunch of interesting, fun and unique driving missions in order to collect the games many unlockables. These unlockables come in the form of cards, some of which unlock things like new cars, new music tracks, and even the original Outrun arcade game. In all, it's a pretty addictive experience, although there is a very pronounced difficulty spike about halfway through mission mode which unfortunately bring to light some of the games shortcomings. While these shortcoming are relatively minor in terms of the overall game, they do make completing the later mission modes very frustrating at times. But otherwise Outrun 2 is an outstanding game and a must own on the original XBOX. (9/11/22) [38/50]

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #268 on: September 11, 2022, 07:32:25 pm »
43. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)

I was pretty late to the TMNT craze of the late 80s and early 90s. For one, I was an infant when it began, however by the time I did get into it around the time I was about 5 or so, the popularity of the franchise had began to fade significantly, but more importantly I missed out on a lot of the intense nostalgia that many people born in the early 80s and late 70s got to experience with the franchise, including playing some of the beloved arcade games. Unfortunately I can't remember ever playing TMNT or Turtles in Time as a kid, much less seeing them anywhere growing up. Because of that I lack the childhood connection to them that many people have. As a result I feel like I can go into playing this game as more of a fan of retro beat em' ups and a old time fan of the franchise, rather than someone who directly has nostalgia for the TMNT arcade game released in 1989. TMNT is a decent arcade beat em' up, however it lacks a lot of he refinement in terms of gameplay that some other games in the genre had around this time. In fact, I'd say Final Fight and many other Capcom beat em' ups had TMNT beat. And more importantly, TMNT arcade doesn't even come close to being as awesome or memorable as its direct arcade sequel, Turtles in Time. Audio and visual are both great, however some questionable character voiceovers and many stages having the same city look to them hold these two things back from greatness. Overall, it's a fun game, but the inherent repetitiveness of gameplay combined with a lack of refinement really prevented me from wanting to return to this game again for a very, very long time. But I guess your mileage will vary dramatically depending on your history with this game and franchise. (9/11/22) [32/50]

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #269 on: September 13, 2022, 11:43:51 pm »
44. Doom - 1993 (PS4)

It's been a while since I played through Doom and I've never officially given it a score so I really wanted to play the original version again and see how it stacked up to more modern titles I have ranked. In short, it still holds its own very well. I literally have nothing bad to say about its presentation and audio; they're both perfect imo, especially compared to 1993 gaming standards. Doom took everything from Wolfenstein 3D and ran with it all the way out of the stadium! The gameplay is still super fun and addictive, although it does have some annoying level design in the later two chapters, especially Inferno. I know there is the fourth chapter, Thy Flesh Consumed, but considering it was designed by a completely different team and it is noticeably lower quality then the other chapters I don't consider it a part of the core game. There are also other gameplay frustrations like going back to the beginning of the stage with just your pistol and fists if you die, which is essentially a death sentence in the later levels on the medium to higher difficulties. But other than that the game still plays smoothly, the puzzles and secrets are still fun, and overall this game is one of those iconic games that's pretty much as amazing as it's reputation suggests. And while I do love the original Doom, I still prefer Doom 2016 more, but I would say the original Doom is just a hair better than Eternal. Simply put, the original Doom is timeless. (9/13/22) [42/50]