Listings of Game 2020 - post lists about games you played

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Aria Genisi
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Listings of Game 2020 - post lists about games you played

Post by Aria Genisi (?) » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:49 am

heya y'all, I'm not posting here as much as I honestly want to, but I'm still here to make a topic for us to do one of those "year in review" things but for video games we played to help start 2021 off on the right foot

post about whatever you played this year in list form and talk as much as you want about them. Do you want to make a top 10 list of the new games that came out last year? go for it! Did you just play games from your backlog this year and you wanna ramble on about 'em? Hell yeah, I'm here for it! Do you just just wanna write down the names of some games you remember playing last year and call it a day? That's rad too!

however you wanna do it, lets just get last year off our chests and maybe continue burning through our gaming backlog or something, idk
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Re: Listings of Game 2020 - post lists about games you played

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:14 pm

I was looking forward to this thread. :flutterunsmith:

For me a lot of 2020 was about just getting through it, a strategy I'm sure I wasn't alone in following. And that meant playing a few new games but also a few "comfort food" games, older titles that were just relaxing and engaging to spend time with. There's a mix of both on the list below.

OXYGEN NOT INCLUDED -- my big time sink for the second year in a row. And yet I've never launched a rocket! It's fine, I set my own goals and I always feel like I learn something new with each restart. I just want my duplicants to live comfortable lives of leisure.

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80 DAYS -- An older game from developer Inkle, the people who made Heaven's Vault. Inkle are very into dialogue, text and branching narratives, if those things are your jam. 80 Days is their steampunky take on Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, with you as the valet Passepartout accompanying Phileas Fogg on the titular bet. You have a lot of options in your route to circumnavigate the globe -- I went overland across Eurasia, then across the Pacific to South America, then across the Atlantic to western Africa, and north through Morocco, Portugal and back to London, making it on the last day. But it could have gone so many other ways. There were dialogues and things to do at every stop, and this being Inkle, the writing is clever and uniformly excellent. You'll only ever witness a fraction of the game's full content in any playthrough.

BLACK BOOK: PROLOGUE -- This game is still in development, but a free demo of the first chapter has been made available, and I like the aesthetic. It's set in 19th-century Russia near Cherdyn in the Urals, where the belief system is a blend of Christianity, Old Slavic religion and various superstitions; where spirits and devils lurk everywhere and can be appeased or put to work using the proper rituals. Vasilisa, a novice znatka (sorceress/exorcist), resolves to resurrect her beloved, who committed suicide, by mastering the powers of the titular Black Book. There are choices to make as you ply your trade for the local community, a deck-building system for your magical bouts against unruly spirits, and plenty of regional lore and stories to read. I like the art style and just generally find it an interesting world to visit.


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CLOUD GARDENS -- This is a chill puzzle-type game where you are presented with abandoned parking lots, road signs and other industrial detritus and lay plants on them. The idea, I think, is to strike a balance between living greenery and modern junk. But I never really understood what I was supposed to do, and the graphics were too low-rez to do anything for me aesthetically. Shrug.

ELSINORE -- Ah, I ought to go back to this one! This is an adventure game based on the events of Hamlet from the POV of Ophelia, who in this imagining has good reason for acting erratic -- she's stuck in a Groundhog Day time loop unless she can unravel the mysteries that keep leading to her death. Turns out there's more afoot in Elsinore than a murderer and one angry ghost. As Ophelia you can move around the castle grounds (bearing witness, if you wish, to scenes portrayed in the play) and can change the course of events depending on things you learn and who you confide in. The game keeps track, in some detail, of which facts each character knows at a given time, and that seems to be the main mechanic -- uncovering secrets and telling the right thing to the right person at the right moment, to hopefully make the course of events a little less tragic.


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FLICKER OF HOPE -- Another free game, a short project from a team of students which I hope gets expanded to full length one day. Previously called Wick (they had to change the name due to legal whatever), in this game you play an animated candle in a haunted cathedral. You have to dodge shadow monsters and an extremely creepy possessed nun while making your way across the stone floors, replenishing your constantly-melting body at pools of wax. This is a short game but a neat idea with a great visual look.


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FLORENCE -- Originally a mobile game, I think, but I played it on Steam. It's the story of 25-year-old Florence and her relationship with new boyfriend Krish. Told without dialogue and with comicbook-style panels, it is an experiment in storytelling using the interactive medium of videogames. And it does it really well.

FROSTPUNK -- I played through the first scenario a couple years ago when it first came out, but in 2020 I decided "Hey, I wonder if I were to go back to this and actually get good." And so I spent a fair part of the year playing Frostpunk and exploring its mechanics. A good time. Feels like I got my money's worth now.

MEDIEVAL DYNASTY -- Early alpha first-person medieval peasant simulator. This game is not nearly finished; there's plenty of jank, a lot of content is still being worked on, and everything is subject to change; but it's darn pretty and I appreciate the draw of carving out your own little home from the medieval Polish wilderness. That feeling when you come across a place in the wild and think "This would make a good camp" -- this game triggers that a lot.

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Re: Listings of Game 2020 - post lists about games you played

Post by SlateSlabrock (?) » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:27 pm

Huh, let's see what I played...

🌟 BATTLETECH -- Another good game I caught up on late. Generally a lot of fun. I got a little frustrated with how often the levels would obviously set up ambushes, but that's nothing an Annihilator can't solve.

🌟 Jedi Fallen Order -- I know this gets a lot of complaints for how gormless the protagonist is, but just being able to run around and do cool Jedi tricks was very satisfying, much more so than watching any of the recent movies. And boy did they get the look of dropping out of hyperspace spot-on.

🌟 XCOM: Chimera Squad -- Pretty decent version of the usual XCOM formula. I got very frustrated with one of the three storylines having a ridiculously high difficulty compared to the other two, which just comes out of nowhere. I wound up having to tweak difficulty settings to get through it. Could use a balance pass, but the characters are fun.

🌟 Hardspace: Shipbreaker -- Rip up ships for your corporate masters. Gets the atmosphere just right. I hope they continue adding to it, since they just introduced one new ship type. It needs more content to be a long-term hobby.

🌟 Watch_Dogs 2 -- Yet another late catch-up, since Daikatuna was playing it, and I realized I'd stopped playing it due to Ubisoft Game overload. Much better than WD1 because the characters are genuinely likeable, which is a huge accomplishment for Ubisoft. Noah Caldwell-Gervais did a video on the series the other day, and he's right that this game succeeds by capturing the spirit of the movie Hackers by being an optimistic, fun vision of hacking that never existed, but it's what a teenager nerd would want it to be.

🌟 Satisfactory -- My big time-waster. Had to spend a lot of time fixing stuff up after Update 3, and Update 4 is coming in April. They have a Christmas event going on that was fun. And now I have most of my factories hooked up with hypertubes, so it's convenient to zip around and tinker.

🌟 Bugsnax -- Currently $22, which is a good price for the length. If it was a full $60 game, it'd be different. But it's genuinely fun and emotional in a way most AAA games fall flat on their faces trying to achieve. Also, Bunger is the best Bugsnak.


Command and Conquer Remastered -- They did a great job translating this game from my childhood into a modern playable state. It's... exactly as good and bad as it used to be.

Terminator: Resistance -- Was okay, lost interest quickly.

Jurassic World Evolution -- A theme park game, but with dinosaurs. Decent, but unlocking islands requires targeting achievements, and until you get ruthless milking visitors with gift shops and food, it's really slow. I finished most of it, though.

Death and Taxes -- You're a grim reaper meeting corporate death quotas. Feels like it wants to be Stanley Parable but doesn't have much to say.

Plague Inc. -- I tried this out for the first time early this year for obvious reasons. I'm not very good at it.

Soul Calibur VI -- I played a lot of Souls Calibur 1-3 in college, but oof, the campaign mode is a real pain.

Fall Guys -- Simple, fun, and I am not good at this. :-I

Apex Legends -- I am not good at clicking on heads. :-P

oh and

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Re: Listings of Game 2020 - post lists about games you played

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:33 pm

Cookie Clicker seems to have changed since I played it. :starity:

Continuing!

PARADISE KILLER: What even is this game? It's a murder mystery whose setting is a rainbow-sherbet swirl of H.P. Lovecraft, The Matrix and Miami Vice. Okay, so a cult called the Syndicate are followers of dead alien gods who once ruled the earth. For centuries they've overseen, with varying levels of success, a series of pocket-dimension "Paradise Cities" where citizens are forced to worship the gods with the ultimate goal of resurrecting them. So far this plan hasn't worked too well, probably a good thing for humanity as a whole. When the leaders of the Syndicate are murdered during a ritual, #1 investigator Lady Love Dies is recalled from exile to solve the mystery.

While the truth involves a complex web of greed, conspiracy, ghosts and demon possession, your investigation mainly involves scouring the island for clues and collectibles and talking to everyone about everything. Broadly speaking, this is an exploration game. This is fine because the true draw of Paradise Killer is its unique setting, equal parts familiar and wacky, gorgeous and unnerving. Paradise City is what L.A. or the Las Vegas Strip would look like if Cthulhu cultists had built them -- a sun-drenched resort with bars, beaches, swimming pools and air-conditioned apartments, tastefully juxtaposed with blood altars and goat-skull-headed statues. It's the sort of place Donald Trump would design if he worshiped Shub-Niggurath. Vending machines dispense cool drinks with flavors from forgotten galaxies. If Fallen London is Lovecraft meets steampunk, then Paradise Killer is Lovecraft meets Magnum, P.I. The mystery itself is interesting enough, but the real star is this weird, garish world that is presented with such utter confidence. I liked it!

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PENDRAGON: This year's release from Inkle, those folks who love writing so much. Pendragon is either a narrative-strategy game or a strategy-narrative game, I'm not sure which applies more. Camelot has fallen; England is in civil war and it is only a few days to the Battle of Camlann, where Arthur and Mordred are fated to die at each other's hands. You play Guinevere, Launcelot or one of several unlockable characters, on a desperate journey to reach Camlann in time to save Arthur -- or at least avenge him. In a manner not unlike FTL, you'll plot a course from location to location, hoping to collect enough skills and allies on the way to influence the final battle.

Scenes take place on a square-tiled map, where you move your characters and the computer moves the NPCs (not all of whom are hostile; it depends). You are sort of playing the scene out abstractly in the way you move; dialogue and narration change to reflect where you're moving to and whether you're doing it aggressively or cautiously. It's hard to describe without seeing it in action, but it's like narrative chess. As usual for Inkle, the dialogue is great and the story you get varies tremendously from game to game. So there you go: a narrative roguelike.

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SPIRITFARER: While I moved on to other games around halfway and haven't finished it yet, this is a delightful game that I hope to get back to. You're a cheerful child who has inherited Charon's job of taking people to the great beyond; you pilot your ship across the map, picking up stuff, crafting and questing. Occasionally you take on guests (often people you knew in life, it seems, though they're animals now for some reason) and if you keep them happy they will eventually move on to the next life. While I love all the character designs, some of the actual characters left me a little cold; I can't say I ever connected with Gwen who came off as aloof and demanding, and I didn't particularly feel much watching her go. I'll be crushed when I have to say goodbye to Atul, though. :fluttersmith:

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Re: Listings of Game 2020 - post lists about games you played

Post by Aria Genisi (?) » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:22 pm

Turns out that I played a bit more than maybe I thought I did. Here's 2020 for me in gaming:
  • Kingdom Hearts 3 ReMind - Ahhh, finally, I've been waiting for this ever since it was announced. I loved KH3 last year, but the finale was kind of eh in places, and the only proper superboss, Dark Inferno, was a let down. Then comes the ReMind DLC to try and fix things. It does a postgame do-over with the final world, expanding on things and making some characters playable for some fights. And then once you beat that, you unlock a post-post game boss rush against the Data Organization XIII, which are 13 entirely new superbosses based on the villain crew. And then after beating THAT, you unlock the game's final superboss, (big spoilers) Yozora in one last epilogue, and honestly? it's pretty great. I got my ass kicked a lot, but it was a lot of fun.
  • Doom 3 - I actually owned the original PC version, but until I started my huge Doom binge this, I hadn't actually played the game beyond the Mars City revisit at the very beginning. Then I got it on switch as I was binging my way through the rest of the series on switch, and just played through the base game, Resurrection of Evil, and the Lost Missions that were a part of the BFG edition. As it turns out? Doom 3 is actually way better and more enjoyable than you might expect, given it's reputation. It's a more horror-y take on Doom that actually works pretty well and is really fun and enjoyable for the most part. The chainsaw kicks ass, the shooting is still good, and the horror elements still work well enough for what it's going for, even though the bosses are too easy and the shotgun is the worst.
  • Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection - I've never actually played the Mega Man Zero games, not entirely. I emulated like, Zero 1 at some point and was intimidated by the ranking system, thinking that it was actually super important, and that if I didn't get A-ranks, then I was failing at the game, and using the cyber elf upgrades meant that you were doomed to get a bad rank, so.....yeah, I had a bad experience. But playing the Zero/ZX collection, I had a way better time as by now, I have long-since learned that the ranking system is largely just for fun. You can get some skills in later games, but they aren't important. And I had a way better time with it! The Zero games are actually a lot of fun, even though Zero 1 is the most wack. The added checkpoint system actually helps a LOT. But yeah, the action is great and the story is great as well. I already played the ZX games before, and this was a great excuse to just do another replay of both ZX and ZX Advent. Still sad there's most likely not going to be a ZX 3.
  • Doom Eternal - Oh boy, this one. I've been looking forward to this for quite a while, and in my opinion, the wait was worth it. It's so much more fun and more varied, and just...so much better than Doom 2016 in my opinion. Unfortunately, it's also noticeably harder than Doom 2016, which is ultimately the main point of contention with some folks, as the tighter difficulty and the inclusion of some elements to play to that is enough to turn these folks away, even if they liked Doom 2016. I get why it can be a problem, but I just disagree entirely. Doom Eternal is one of my favorite games of the year, and I'm eager to try and do a full replay so I can try out the first DLC.
  • Doom 64 - The best Doom game you've never played, finally released for all to play. I played this as a kid, but never actually beat it. I played it to finish up my doom marathon after beating Doom Eternal, and it's fantastic, with the brand-new Lost Levels campaign that got added in this new release being some of my favorite classic doom levels in a commercial release. If you loved Doom 1 or Doom 2, then you owe it to yourself to try it out.
  • XCOM Chimera Squad - I've got a weird relationship with modern XCOM, where I was excited for, but never actually finished a playthrough of XCOM 1, and then just entirely unwilling to take the plunge on XCOM 2, because everything I saw out of it looks really cool and potentially fun, but also I knew that I would probably hate it and it would have been a waste of money on my end. Then Chimera Squad came out of the blue and on a whim, I got it during the sale happening with it's release or whatever, and I loved it. The fact that it's effectively XCOPS is...unfortunate, thanks to 2020, but even then, it's still the only XCOM game that i've actually played to completion. I had a blast, and maybe once I eventually have a computer that can run it and not want to die, I'll do a second playthrough and revisit it or something.
  • Hiveswap Act 1 - I loved Problem Sleuth, and I loved Homestuck...up to a point where I just kinda stopped and then couldn't ever be bothered to attempt to catch up with the huge, sprawling mess that it had become. Hiveswap is basically a look back at the sort of shit that I loved out of Problem Sleuth and Homestuck to begin with in an actual point and click adventure game. It was just a joy to play through, and much like most point and click games that I loved, it felt like it was over too soon. I think I might play it again, and maybe also see about trying to get the recently released Act 2.
  • Final Fantasy 10 HD - this year, I finally sat down and play through this game to the end. I got this on vita years ago, got to Mount Gagazet, and then stopped. And then lost my save. So this game sat in my "todo" box for quite a while. So I finally went ahead and completed it, and it was great! There's a hell of a lot to love here, and I'm kinda kicking myself for not beating it long ago in the first place. At least I'm glad to finally see what I missed in the end.
  • Dust: An Elysian Tale - here's a game that I've been meaning to play for a long while. An older-ish indie game, this is basically a metroidvania with combat that's got shades of the PS2 God of War games or Devil May Cry, with a focus on dealing combo attacks on enemies with your sword and projectiles, along with a level up system. It definitely feels like a game from a couple of years ago, but it's still pretty dang fun. I liked it.
  • Indivisible - I was eagerly waiting for the switch version to be finished so that I could get my backer code and play it for myself. And it was a hell of a lot of fun! It's a metroidvania styled adventure game with fights that use a combat system based on Valkyrie Profile. The wait was well worth it, I felt, as I had a blast playing through this game and exploring all sorts of nooks and crannies. It did have some unfortunate jank in need of polishing out, but it was really fun! Too bad that the game is basically dead and isn't going to get any more content updates, thanks to Mike Z not holding the L, and instead drove everyone away, destroying his company.
  • Helltaker - This was a neat, cute little puzzle game. Pretty wholesome, and I like all of the demon girls. Unfortunately, I....don't really have much to say about it. It was a fun little distraction, but aside from me liking it and the designs of the characters, that was basically it. I beat it in an evening and I haven't thought about it that much.
  • Princess Remedy in A Heap of Trouble - here's another little game I played! It's a neat little lo-fi shooter adventure game in a land where so many people are suffering from all sorts of weird maladies, so you have to shoot the disease out of them to cure them. It's a simple, but fun little game. I played the original a while back, so it was neat to finally play the sequel and beat it.
  • MaGMML: Episode Zero - I fucking love mega man games, and one fangame series that I've had my eye on for a while is the Make a Good Mega Man Level series, which focus on level design contests. The levels are submitted, then graded, and then compiled into a proper fangame, where you play through levels made for the contest, levels made by the judges, and all sorts of other bonus content, including bosses and they even have their own story! This newest one, Episode Zero just goes whole hog into it's own goofy-ass story as you play as Zero, who looks like shit because he was just an old junked project of Wily's that he rebuilt as a decoy to distract mega man with. You play as Zero starting with that encounter in the first MaGMML game, and then play through a huge amount of levels made specifically for this game, instead of being a part of a contest. Zero has his own weapons and movement options, and the whole game is just really damn fun. There's some levels that are kinda tough to get through, but it's still a damn fun fangame that genuinely feels like a love letter to the Mega Man series. Just, absolutely fantastic, imo. One of my favorite games of the year.
  • Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam - This year, I did a weird run through of some of the later Mario and Luigi games, and finally sat down and played the last game, which I got partway through but then stopped for one reason or another. Paper Jam's kind of looked down upon as far as M&L games go, because it's a crossover game between the Mario and Luigi series and Paper Mario. The more generic-styled Paper Mario that we got thanks to Sticker Star. And that carries over into this game, as the enemy roster is all standard mario enemies and characters, some of which are in paper form, and then the world is very generic, fitting more as generic templates than actual places. The game does try to make it interesting, especially with various areas getting littered with paper terrain and new enemies as you continue through the game, but frankly, this was not AlphaDream at their A-game. The story and setting are just entirely lacking here. However, the combat is what carries the game. Having played Dream Team afterwards, I can absolutely say that as far as the combat and bosses are concerned, this is easily the best in the series. I had a good time with Paper Jam in the end, but it also made me pretty sad that the developers went bust and closed their doors, with this as the last proper release, aside for remakes of the first and third games.
  • Bloodstained Curse of the Moon 2 - Oh man, when Curse of the Moon 1 came out, I freaking loved it. Classic castlevania was back, y'all! And now a sequel was released this year! And one of the characters is a corgi in a steampunk mech! And having played it, the sequel is really good, but unfortunately I feel that it's not quite as good as the first. Mostly, I feel that the first game really nailed the difficulty balance just right, where it had just enough classic rudeness tempered with more modern design considerations for game design and difficulty. The second game feels like it crosses the line a bit too much towards the rude end of things, not helped that you're now *expected* to beat the game four times to reach all of the content. I wanted more CotM, and I'm glad to actually get more CotM, but it was a little too much more, if that makes any sense. I still had a damn good time and for all the griping I'll have for some parts, I'm still glad it's here.
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King So, let me just get into this right here: Sticker Star was the worst, and while I really liked the Paper Mario games that came before it, I extremely liked Color Splash on the Wii U, and believe that it should get a rerelease on switch. So when Origami King got announced? I was thrilled! I was excited to see what they'd try doing next. The end result? Extremely good. This game was a delight. The writing was extremely good, the world, the music, all of it fantastic. The battle system was tricky at times, and while I'd maybe like it if they tried some different mechanics to make random battles more interesting, the game was still really fucking fantastic, with the bosses being pretty standout parts. One of my favorite games of the year.
  • Hypnospace Outlaw - Absolutely beautiful, I'm glad to have finally played this game that accurately explores these sorts of internet social spaces and groups, and it's just, I'm writing this list and I'm finding it hard to put into words on why I liked it. To me, while it's easy to talk about regular-ass games, it feels different to talk about a game where the idea is that you're an internet moderator. It's a really fascinating idea, and it really works to create this exploration/adventure game, to explore a fictional version of the internet that, while none of it is actually real, it absolutely feels like it could have been, just.... fuck. I don't know how else to describe it. One of my favorite games last year. My time in it was short, but it will always stick in my head as just this wonderful experience.
  • Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn & Heavensward - Oh boy. if you saw my PPPP topic, you should already know that I decided to play the free trial on a whim, since, I've been interested in checking FF14 out, they had recently expanded the free trial to include all of the ARR and HW content, and I didn't have a lot better to spend my free time, thanks to 2020's everything. And...uh-oh! It turns out that I really really liked this game! UH OH!
    MMOs in general are just something that I tend to bounce off of, despite my best efforts. Mostly it's due to the fact that they tend to be more designed with the idea of that you'll group up and play with your friends whenever you log on, and playing by yourself is just kinda...not really an intended thing, it feels. Like, you can, but it's an MMO. Why would you want to? FF14 is the first MMO that's really hooked me by having playing as just some random single-player is actually viable and intended, as the main story quests are all just a big jRPG. Yeah, there's dungeons and raids and boss trials, but unless you're going into legit challenge versions of that content (Savage/Extreme difficulty versions, etc), you really can just queue up and play with randos just fine. And it's just really really fun!
    So I picked up the free trial near the end of October, and I just started playing it for about two months, doing most of the major content (save for the challenge difficulty trials/raids). A Realm Reborn got it's hooks into me, but it's clear that it was padded out a bit, and wasn't the best. When it was good, it was great, but the low points were a bit of a drag. Heavensward, however, was fantastic. Any low points never really hit the low points of ARR, and everything was just even better than ARR ever was. I did all the major content in both ARR and HW, finishing my time in the free trial a few days before the year ended. I was done, ready to move on for now, completing my time with the Tales from the Dragonsong War questline, and then logging out, ready to focus on a new game as I enter the new year....

    But then, shortly into the new year, I was very generously gifted the complete game and the day after? I started playing Stormblood. And given how much I enjoyed playing the game, how much I enjoyed the story and the characters and the MUSIC, oh my god the music is phenomenal, but yeah, given how much I've enjoyed my time thus far, Final Fantast 14 has been my personal favorite game of the year for 2020, and I suspect that it's likely to become out of my favorite games of 2021 as well.
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Re: Listings of Game 2020 - post lists about games you played

Post by Orange Fluffy Sheep (?) » Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:51 pm

2020 was 20 years long so I can't remember too well. Um

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - not the best game of the year but the most important one, because thanks to the delay it came at exactly the right time to provide the sort of escapism we needed.

Trials of Mana - the reimagining of its character progression and combat system with keeping the plot exactly the same to preserve that SNES-era rapid pace created, perhaps accidentally, one of the better jrpgs on planet earth.

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age -Definitive Edition-: Turns out you can just keep tweaking the same basic formula and create gold. Maribel's still the best tsundere wizard in the series though don't @ me.

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga - having killed and eaten the demi-fiend I am now the greatest gamer among you clowns.

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2 - I have not finished the grind to be ready to kill and eat Satan. The duology is in an odd place because at its core I don't think press turns work with 3 characters and shield spells. Did you know that the boss has a big-ass ice spell that will end you? No? well fuck I guess that's a game over now bring void ice. Or you grab Debilitate and nothing but the strongest bonus bosses can threaten you. The games're super strange and not just the cannibalism.

Hades - This game is so good why is it so good can I have dlc or something I want more of it because it's so good

Super Mario Odyssey - still the best video game
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Re: Listings of Game 2020 - post lists about games you played

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Thu Jan 07, 2021 5:30 pm

LITTLE MISFORTUNE: Another dark, weird adventure game from the people who brought us Fran Bow. Like Fran, Misfortune is an upbeat little girl with a rough deal in life, who copes by throwing glitter over things that are potentially upsetting. She also has to deal with a possibly untrustworthy fox and a definitely untrustworthy narrator. This is the game I was playing when the world collapsed into a disease-ridden nightmare, and I haven't yet gone back to finish it, but that's not a criticism of the game, just the outside circumstances.

SUBSURFACE CIRCULAR: This is a short conversational adventure game from the creator of Thomas Was Alone. In a future where robots are common and second-class citizens, there's a subway line for exclusively robot use. There, you play a detective robot who has taken it upon itself to solve a missing-robot case. There are no locations; you spend the entire game in the subway car, having conversations with the robots who get on and off. Not a long or difficult game, it's just an interesting little story to spend an hour or two in.

SURVIVING MARS: While my Pale Red Dot LP remains on hiatus for now (mental health comes first), there's no doubt I spent a lot of time playing this during 2020. Honestly? I play a lot of early-access titles and it's nice, every once in a while, to play a game that's done -- fully released, all the major updates and DLC are out and the whole experience is in as final a form as it's going to be. That's satisfying.

THIMBLEWEED PARK: This is IIRC a crowdfunded Ron Gilbert release aimed at recapturing the early LucasArts adventure game experience. It didn't really do much for me. You play two snarky FBI agents investigating a murder in a wacky little town; there's a pillow factory, a quirky sheriff, some ghosts, a foul-mouthed clown and lots of in-jokes. And none of it clicked with me. This was an unrewarding, joyless experience that I rightly abandoned.
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