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So, what was your favourite game you played in 2021? (Gaming)

by CyberKN ⌂ @, Oh no, Destiny 2 seems complicated, Saturday, January 01, 2022, 23:14 (218 days ago)

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Mine, after just barely finishing it with less than 24 hours before the new year, was Metroid Dread.

I don’t think I’ve ever touched a Metroid game before. 99% of my experience with Samus Aran comes from playing her in Smash Bros.

2D platformers are my gaming kryptonite, so I never had any impulse to give the series a shot. But everything about the game I saw from trailers just LOOKED so cool that I opted to include it on my list of gift suggestions for Christmas. After getting home from a wonderful Christmas at my folks’ place, I spent a good chunk of time over the next few days just playing the heck out of it.

There are parts of the game that admittedly I found less than stellar; the boss fights gave me hand cramps, and one of the things I really dislike in games (but is a core feature to Metroid) is wandering around a large level, trying to figure out where to go to progress.

But everything else about the game feels so expertly crafted that it outshines those minor blemishes by ten-fold. The art style is impeccable, unlocking suit upgrades and utilising them to traverse levels and fight enemies in new ways is a blast, and everything about the stealth/chase/puzzle sequences is 100% up my alley in a way I wasn't expecting.

Now I'm hoping for Switch ports of some of those 1st-person Metroid Prime games on the Gamecube.

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So, what was your favourite game you played in 2021?

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, January 02, 2022, 07:54 (218 days ago) @ CyberKN

Ace Attorney Chronicles.

It has a really really rough start. But if you can get through the first two cases, it becomes one of the best Ace Attorney games. The writing is spectacular (if not slightly overwritten), and the types of things you’ll be doing shake things up like never before.

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So, what was your favourite game you played in 2021?

by cheapLEY @, Sunday, January 02, 2022, 08:03 (218 days ago) @ CyberKN

I’ve been thinking about doing a year in review thread, I just haven’t ever made the time. I might reply again to this one later.

I think my favorite game this year was Resident Evil Village. I’ve never played an RE game before this one, and I haven’t really liked the few I’ve tried to go back to. But man I loved Village. Just a fantastic ride with some genuinely scary and horrifying moments, with some campy action too. It goes off the rails eventually, but in a way I honestly loved. I can’t think of another game I enjoyed so much for every single second I was playing it.

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Non-ironically, Cyberpunk 2077

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Sunday, January 02, 2022, 08:59 (218 days ago) @ CyberKN

But only because I arbitrarily decided Horizon Zero Dawn doesn't make the cut since I only made it out of Mother's Embrace yesterday.

With Cyberpunk, not only did I get blessed with a near-glitchless experience, my expectations of the gameplay loop weren't that high, so I didn't feel cheated*. I find the writing of the side quests and gigs superb and the sheer scale of everything so good.

*Not to invalidate the feelings of those who did. Marketing did blow everything out of proportion, it's just that I never really believed them. Got burned too hard too many times at this point.

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Non-ironically, Cyberpunk 2077

by cheapLEY @, Sunday, January 02, 2022, 09:01 (218 days ago) @ ZackDark

But only because I arbitrarily decided Horizon Zero Dawn doesn't make the cut since I only made it out of Mother's Embrace yesterday.

With Cyberpunk, not only did I get blessed with a near-glitchless experience, my expectations of the gameplay loop weren't that high, so I didn't feel cheated*. I find the writing of the side quests and gigs superb and the sheer scale of everything so good.

*Not to invalidate the feelings of those who did. Marketing did blow everything out of proportion, it's just that I never really believed them. Got burned too hard too many times at this point.

I like Cyberpunk quite a bit, too. People had way too unrealistic expectations for that game. I haven’t finished it, but only because I just decided to wait for the real Series X upgrade.

Non-ironically, Cyberpunk 2077

by EffortlessFury @, Sunday, January 02, 2022, 15:39 (217 days ago) @ ZackDark

But only because I arbitrarily decided Horizon Zero Dawn doesn't make the cut since I only made it out of Mother's Embrace yesterday.

With Cyberpunk, not only did I get blessed with a near-glitchless experience, my expectations of the gameplay loop weren't that high, so I didn't feel cheated*. I find the writing of the side quests and gigs superb and the sheer scale of everything so good.

*Not to invalidate the feelings of those who did. Marketing did blow everything out of proportion, it's just that I never really believed them. Got burned too hard too many times at this point.

There's a solid game under the mess. I didn't have a glitchless experience and there were systems in the game that weren't just overblown in marketing but non-functional with the only frame of reference being a host of previously played games.

It's a game I'm sure I'll greatly enjoy a couple of years from now. You know, when it's done.

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Some more notable games.

by cheapLEY @, Sunday, January 02, 2022, 11:38 (218 days ago) @ CyberKN

Now I'm hoping for Switch ports of some of those 1st-person Metroid Prime games on the Gamecube.

Jeff Grubb has basically confirmed that Metroid Prime Remastered is happening. He's pretty reliable and has good sources for industry news like this.


So, onto some more games.

Exo One
This one came out of nowhere a few months ago on Game Pass. I finished in one sitting, around four hours. It's just a cool experience. You are basically a spherical space ship traveling over alien worlds. You pull the trigger to increase gravity and release the trigger to lower it. It's like a 3D Tiny Wings, in a lot of ways. It does some clever things later on like taking away directional control, so you have to use the terrain intelligently to direct yourself towards the objective. It's well worth checking out.

Life is Strange: True Colors
The best Life is Strange game. What more needs to be said? But I'll say it anyway. The core mystery of the game is interesting, even if the payoff doesn't quite land. Alex Chen is straight up the best Life is Strange character, though. She is so well realized and so relatable. The character writing in the game is stellar. The choices feel meaningful. I think the supernatural gimmick of this game is sort of a wasted opportunity. There's only a couple of really big moments in which you use the power, and I'm not sure they're really paid off all that well. But it's a great experience and easily my favorite one of these.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
I didn't finish this one, but it's a great game. It's gorgeous, it's fun, I think it's a great revival of that sort of old styled game.

Outriders
Another strong argument for Game Pass. Outriders didn't quite hold up in the end game, but it was a fun 8 or 10 hour campaign, plus another few hours playing through random stuff with friends. The gameplay is really fun. It's truly the closest thing to Mass Effect 3 gameplay I've seen since then, and it was kind of exactly what I wanted at the time. I wouldn't call it great, but I also liked the writing in the game. The player character is written as a sort of cliched sarcastic badass, but it really worked for me in Outriders. It struck the exact right balance of goofy and sort of self-serious that I'm pretty convinced wasn't intentional, but still worked and ended up being really great.

Hitman 3
I don't think it's as good as Hitman or Hitman 2, but the fact that those two games get updated into the Hitman 3 engine and can be played from within Hitman 3 makes it basically a completely package. It's still the great new Hitman gameplay with a few cool levels and few bad ones.

Forza Horizon 5
Another great entry in the series, and probably my favorite. It looks gorgeous and is as fun to play as ever. More than anything, though, it made me really excited for the next Forza Motorsport, which is supposed to be a ground up rebuild of the engine and tech behind Forza.

Deathloop
Unfortunately, this is my most disappointing game of the past few years. I was so excited for this game. I thought I was getting Hitman by way of Dishonored, but ended up with a game that didn't live up to either of those things. The potential is there, bu the pieces didn't come together. Instead of getting a Hitman style clockwork world with the gameplay of Dishonored, where the player pieces together how to kill all 8 Visionaries in a single day, we ended up with a sort of mediocre Dishonored style game in which the game holds your hand every step of the way and points you directly towards the next thing to do. Instead of experimenting to craft a perfect run, it's a paint by numbers follow the objective with not much else going on.

Halo Infinit
I'm still not sure about this. I had a good time playing through the campaign, but I didn't do much of the open world stuff, and I think it was actively bad design decision. It's not additive to Halo (at least not in the way 343 implemented it). The best I can say is that they don't force the open world on the player--with a few minor exceptions, you can just go from campaign mission to campaign mission. Not being able to go back and replay those missions without starting over is something they need to fix, too. I'm reasonably happy with the story. I think they did a fine job actually addressing the Halo 5 ending while sort of sidestepping it. I can't decide how I feel about basically just returning to the status quo at the end in regards to Cortana. And I'm not sure introducing yet another ancient precursor species as a new enemy was really the correct call. I think there's so much room to explore conflicts in the post-Covenant era between all those species that we don't really need another galaxy ending threat to fight. It's sort of boring.

The next two games didn't come out this year, but I played a lot of them, and they're worth talking about.

Warframe
It's just fun, y'all. You think your Guardian feels powerful? Your Guardian is a fucking chump. Warframe is Powercreep: The Game, and it's an absolute blast. Building out guns and frames with stupidly powerful mods and laying waste to everything the game throws at you is just joyful.

Genshin Impact
This game is legitimately great. It's good, not just good "for a free to play game." It's legitimately one of the best, most well designed games I've ever played. It's just a joy to play with fun exploration, fun combat, fun stories to experience, great characters. I know at least one Bungie dev that plays this game a lot, and I genuinely hope he's taking notes. The open world of Genshin is just enormously fun to hang out it in, and it's rewarding to just run around a do open world activities. It's filled with puzzles. Some are large and involved, lots are very small and simple, but they're all fun to engage with and rewarding to complete (both in terms of just joy of completing the challenge and also in the drops you can use to level up characters or gear). There is no Two Tokens and a Blue equivalent here--activities that take a tenth the amount of time as any Public Event are far more rewarding with tangible rewards for your characters.

Some more notable games.

by EffortlessFury @, Sunday, January 02, 2022, 15:58 (217 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Halo Infinit
I'm still not sure about this. I had a good time playing through the campaign, but I didn't do much of the open world stuff, and I think it was actively bad design decision. It's not additive to Halo (at least not in the way 343 implemented it).

This is a bit of a divisive topic. Some say that an open world adds nothing to Halo, others say it's the future (and of course there's a spectrum of opinions in-between). The implementation isn't fantastic; it certainly bears the scars of its trouble development. That said, I greatly enjoyed what was implemented to the point that I've nearly cleared the entire map of all objectives and collectibles. The design definitely needs to be improved going forward; they can't get away with doing the exact same thing next go around.

Rescuing Marines should have a reduced focus now that some semblance of strength has been established for the UNSC. FOBs make far less sense; perhaps rather than recovering lost territory, it's about pushing forward and establishing new bases. Maybe even incorporate a little bit of Halo Wars flavor into the mix.

I do genuinely believe an open world is not only well suited to Halo but absolutely has a place in the series when done well. I get that some folks don't really care about being able to explore the world as if it is an actual place, but I know myself and plenty of folk have always wanted that, explicitly or implicitly. Despite its open spaces, AotCR does not strike me as a logically designed location from a lore perspective. It might make more sense if you had the context of how it was situated within the ring by having its entrance accessible from the ring, rather than being dropped in from a what amounts to a dead end.

Not being able to go back and replay those missions without starting over is something they need to fix, too.

They're aware and will be doing so, so that's good.

Warframe
It's just fun, y'all. You think your Guardian feels powerful? Your Guardian is a fucking chump. Warframe is Powercreep: The Game, and it's an absolute blast. Building out guns and frames with stupidly powerful mods and laying waste to everything the game throws at you is just joyful.

I played this for a while. It's fun, but perhaps a little too grindy, and I'm always overwhelmed with figuring out what I should be doing next.

Genshin Impact
This game is legitimately great. It's good, not just good "for a free to play game." It's legitimately one of the best, most well designed games I've ever played. It's just a joy to play with fun exploration, fun combat, fun stories to experience, great characters. I know at least one Bungie dev that plays this game a lot, and I genuinely hope he's taking notes. The open world of Genshin is just enormously fun to hang out it in, and it's rewarding to just run around a do open world activities. It's filled with puzzles. Some are large and involved, lots are very small and simple, but they're all fun to engage with and rewarding to complete (both in terms of just joy of completing the challenge and also in the drops you can use to level up characters or gear). There is no Two Tokens and a Blue equivalent here--activities that take a tenth the amount of time as any Public Event are far more rewarding with tangible rewards for your characters.

Agreed. Even being a gacha, I feel like the money I spend on it is well worth it (just don't buy currency directly, that's the typical rip-off). Sure, sometimes I don't get all the characters I want, but I have every 4* and a good number of 5*s, and that's far more than I have time to build out and utilize. I could stop spending money on the game and be set for a long time as a pure F2P player. The game is incredibly generous for its quality level.

The one thing that sucks about Genshin that also sucks about Destiny is the limited time events that contain narrative, but Genshin still wins out here as that narrative is never essential. Anything that progresses the state of the world is permanent (to be fair, it helps that the game is solo with co-op as an option rather than a shared living space). The narrative events are also not padded out with ridiculously time-consuming requirements. The events last around a month but I could finish most of them in a single day if I really wanted/needed to.

I've cited Genshin when giving feedback to Bungie (in a context where it was appropriate to do so). I'm sure they're well aware, at the very least.

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Some more notable games.

by cheapLEY @, Sunday, January 02, 2022, 16:24 (217 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

I do genuinely believe an open world is not only well suited to Halo but absolutely has a place in the series when done well. I get that some folks don't really care about being able to explore the world as if it is an actual place, but I know myself and plenty of folk have always wanted that, explicitly or implicitly.

I think an open world Halo could absolutely be good, great even. I just don't think Infinite's take on that was particularly well executed. Some of the activities are fine, but they're largely very samey. And the environment itself, the Halo, just wasn't interesting to traverse or explore. With very few rare exceptions, it's just not worth exploring. There's nothing to find, both in terms of tangible rewards (I don't really count the power weapons strewn about) or in the Breath of the Wild sense of just encountering a breathtaking view. It all looks and feels exactly the same from start to finish. The saving grace is that the gameplay, the gunplay, feels amazing, the best any Halo has ever felt, so even the mundane FOBs are fun to do just because it's more Halo shooty.

Warframe
It's just fun, y'all. You think your Guardian feels powerful? Your Guardian is a fucking chump. Warframe is Powercreep: The Game, and it's an absolute blast. Building out guns and frames with stupidly powerful mods and laying waste to everything the game throws at you is just joyful.


I played this for a while. It's fun, but perhaps a little too grindy, and I'm always overwhelmed with figuring out what I should be doing next.

That's what I had a lot of trouble with, too. Unfortunately, Warframe is a game you need to play with a friend who knows it already (Thanks, Korny!) or a wiki open next to you. The game doesn't even attempt to explain that you don't know what you don't know. It's a mishmash of disparate systems and activities loosely tied into a game. I kindof appreciate it for that. Almost everything you can do is worthwhile is some regard, and it's easy to jump back and forth between things without getting burned out.

I've cited Genshin when giving feedback to Bungie (in a context where it was appropriate to do so). I'm sure they're well aware, at the very least.

For me, it really is the open world. I really wish Patrols in Destiny were as fun as just wandering around Teyvat. Just encountering a tiny combat challenge or puzzle or something every 30 seconds that pops a chest and gives you a few upgrade materials is wonderfully fun. It beats the hell out of the grind that is finding all the drone cache things on Europa. I wish I was better at articulating the difference between the two, because they're superficially very similar.

I know Bungie knows, because the world design lead of Beyond Light and Witch Queen plays Genshin. I'm not expecting some grand overhaul by any means, but I really want to ask him what's he's absorbed from playing it. He told me he likes seeing how other open world games handle their world design, so I really want to know how he sees Genshin's world in comparison. I really want Destinations and Patrols to feel like worthwhile places to engage with in Destiny.

Other than a few of the Blessings of the Welkin Moon, I haven't spent any money on Genshin. That will certainly change at some point (Give me an Ayaka banner, damnit!), but I don't begrudge it. The game honestly feels pretty generous, just logging in a doing commissions and events has given me plenty of stuff.

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About that wiki comment

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Sunday, January 02, 2022, 19:10 (217 days ago) @ cheapLEY

That's what I had a lot of trouble with, too. Unfortunately, Warframe is a game you need to play with a friend who knows it already (Thanks, Korny!) or a wiki open next to you.

That's a problem Destiny also shares, except Warframe's (official?) wiki is full-blown amazing. We sorely need a similar one with Destiny, except stuff is rarely constant long enough to be worth the trouble...

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Some more notable games.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, January 04, 2022, 11:11 (216 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Life is Strange: True Colors
The best Life is Strange game. What more needs to be said? But I'll say it anyway. The core mystery of the game is interesting, even if the payoff doesn't quite land. Alex Chen is straight up the best Life is Strange character, though. She is so well realized and so relatable. The character writing in the game is stellar. The choices feel meaningful. I think the supernatural gimmick of this game is sort of a wasted opportunity. There's only a couple of really big moments in which you use the power, and I'm not sure they're really paid off all that well. But it's a great experience and easily my favorite one of these.

So, I was led to believe you would get to play D&D with Mikey as Steph in the Wavelengths DLC… did I just make the wrong choices? Because we set up to, but never did.

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Some more notable games.

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, January 04, 2022, 14:38 (215 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I actually haven’t played it. I meant to, but then just forgot.

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Being Sick Sucks.

by Morpheus @, High Charity, Monday, January 03, 2022, 12:13 (217 days ago) @ CyberKN

I just realized that I haven't played any games in 2021. ;-(

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So, what was your favourite game you played in 2021?

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Tuesday, January 04, 2022, 02:14 (216 days ago) @ CyberKN
edited by Korny, Tuesday, January 04, 2022, 02:22

2021 was a bit of a slow year for me in terms of Gaming. While I do make a habit of trying most new games on Gamepass or PS+, the extremely limited space on the new gen of consoles has kept me from wanting to go through the hassle of space management.
That, and it was a pretty slow year for gaming as well, without any notable exclusives for any platform that pulled my attention. And though I started many interesting games, I almost didn't finish any of them. I think I even gave up on the latest season of Destiny (or maybe I finished it? Didn't feel like anything happened, though.). Anyway, here are the games that stood out to me this past year:


Genshin Impact
Anime was a mistake.

While my intro might seem awful negative, the truth is that I've been having a lot of fun in the latter half of the year, with this game that came out of left field for me, and has definitely been my favorite (or favourite) of the year.

I generally don't like games with an anime style for a number of reasons, and I've managed to avoid gacha games due to their inherently predatory nature (gacha games are games built around using currency, premium or otherwise, to buy a randomized loot box that can contain goods/weapons/characters/etc, and the games are usually designed in such as way as to make you hit roadblocks and barely-veiled paywalls that push you to pull that monetized lever so you can make progress.

But much like Warframe launched at the time where Free-to-play was a cursed term, only to redefine what the F2P concept could be, Genshin Impact takes the monetization of a gacha game and removes almost all of the shady/unethical manipulations in such an impactful way (while simultaneously delivering a complete, polished, and visually gorgeous experience), that I was hooked almost from the get-go.

So what is Genshin? It's an action RPG where you build four-man teams to tackle escalating challenges across a vast open world. On the surface, it's a game that sells you on a more lighthearted romp with a bunch of fun character archetypes, and while that is the case for the most part, the game has a surprising amount of depth to the characters that you meet, the politics of the regions that you visit, and the relationships between groups big and small, often getting a bit dark and mature in its themes, but never to the point where things are grim. I think we all need a bit of optimism these days, and the game emphasizes people rising above low points rather than relishing in their suffering or dragging you through the bleakness of their backstories (looking at you, Last of Us 2; I love you, but sweet Jesus). This approach makes for almost universally-likeable characters who focus on building a positive relationship with you, and that caught my jaded and cynical heart off guard (though you might want to set the voice-acting language to Korean, as the English VOs are a bit too cartoony for my taste, and I grew up with FUNimation dubs, so that's saying something).

As for the gameplay itself, the game does a fantastic job of guiding you along the progression of all its systems (something certain other games have a lot of trouble with). You start out mainly using your basic attacks and abilities, until you progress enough to where you are using your team's different abilities to provide buffs/debuffs and elemental combos, and eventually you'll find yourself engaging with gear (called Artifacts) to create specific builds that can completely change and shape a character's role in your specialized team comp.
And the best part is that the game gives you the power to set the parameters of your own progression through a fairly simple but genius Adventure Rank + World Tier combo.

So where does the gacha part come in? While the game will give you enough characters and weapons to build a couple of different team comps, there are a few dozen or so characters to recruit (each with six tiers of perk upgrades), and dozens more weapons that all have different perks for your builds, and the loot boxes (dubbed "Wishes") are how you acquire the majority of these characters and weapons. The game is actually fairly generous with how often you can pull for Wishes, though, to the point where you don't ever feel like you have to pay real money even if you play somewhat casually (in fact, you have to dig through several menus to even find the premium currency tab).

And speaking of playing casually, the game's content drops are usually in three-week rotations, which is kind of insane. Every three weeks there's some new activity, time-limited gameplay event, or story quest. Often all three at once, and they almost always have premium currency as a reward to some degree. And yet, rather than requiring you to grind the same activity over and over and over (Bungie...), the premium currency is almost always front-loaded as your first tier of rewards, so you can just check in once, collect all your loot, and bounce if you don't have the time to delve into the deeper levels of rewards or challenges. It really respects your time in such a way that many other games these days deliberately don't.

Anyway, there's a lot more to praise, but I feel like I've Warframed this game enough... for now. I'll just throw in that the latest update dropping tomorrow looks to have more content in a single free event than Bungie's entire paid Anniversary pack... so, ya know...


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No Straight Roads
"Red Light!" "Green Light!"


One of the only games that I actually finished this past year, NSR is a beat-based third-person... Hack and Slash? -- More like Drum and Shred. It's mainly a boss-rush type game with some platforming and exploration thrown in as you fight against the different musical styles that EDM has sunk its tendrils into, from classical music to boy band pop. The catch is that the bosses attack to the rhythm of music, so you have to learn to match that rhythm in your counterattacks, while navigating the battlefield to build up combos or use the environment to your advantage (some light RPG elements help you in this regard).

It's a lot more straightforward than it sounds, and each boss has a scoreboard and several alternate tracks that you can unlock and battle to (and challenges that often unlock stuff like lore items and deeper insights into the bosses). It a lot of fun, and I found myself replaying boss fights over and over to achieve different goals. There's clearly a ton of heart that went into making this game, and while the humor doesn't always land, the music is just one banger after another, which keeps you going. It's not a super long game, but it's one that'll stick with you.


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Exo One
One giant leap for mankind.

I saw this on Gamepass one day, and noticed that it was released alongside their cloud streaming feature. Figuring I'd test the latency with a simple game like this, I booted up the cloud and... proceeded to play through the whole thing in a few hours. The game is simple in design, and while there is a story told to you in sparse flashes of images and subtitles, for the most part it's just you, physics, and the distant beam of light that you're headed towards.

This game manages to capture the essence of the distant lifeless rocks in our galaxy so well, that despite the simple, relaxing nature of the gameplay, for me there was always a sense of anxiety, and a palpable fear of the unknown, as you explore some really alien terrains and the weirdness of space.
There are a couple of bumps along the way, as the devs were clearly trying to stretch what mileage they could get out of the game's basic mechanics, but ultimately, I came away really impressed with what they did accomplish, and I'll remember the experience of rolling on an icy planet and bouncing towards a Pulsar as one that I never knew I wanted.

Oh yeah, and the Xbox streaming worked like a dream... except for the couple of times that it lost connection and I had to restart the planets that I was on.


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Generation Zero
Robots have taken over the world! Our world!

If you're not familiar with the works of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, you should definitely google him. His art (and "Tales From The Loop" works) captures the quiet moments of everyday Cold-War era folks in the country-side, with touches of mechanical curiosity... and horror. There is always something out of place. Something that the everyday people in his images have simply grown accustomed to as it looms prominently against the backdrop.

Generation Zero captures those peaceful moments, and gives you the violence that seems inevitably tied to them. Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, this small Swedish coast was besieged by an army of machines. You wake up as the only survivor of a boat that was trying to leave the island, and as you wander through the recently abandoned fields and farmhouses to try to meet up with the villagers who banded together with help of from the local military, you find that a lot of machines still lie between you and the people putting up a solid fight against them.

This is a game that has apparently been out for a while, but the first I heard of it was when it popped up on Gamepass. Recognizing the clear influences, I decided to give it a whirl. Figuring it would be a DayZ style game with robots in place of zombies. And... it kind of is, but it's more than just that. Gameplay-wise, it's mainly an exploration-based game, with a storyline told by notes, recordings, voice mails, and the environment itself. You'll find yourself crawling through fields to avoid patrolling robo dogs, using simple tools and supplies such as propane tanks and boom boxes to lure groups of machines into traps, and slowly building an arsenal to take the fight to them as you pick up the supplies left behind by the locals that refuse to go quietly into the night.
It's funny that despite having four-player co-op, I found myself wanting to tackle the game solo. There's an inherent loss of dread and gravitas when you've got a friend at your side, and the game teeters a fine line with its tone, just itching to become campy and fun, but choosing to play it dead straight and tense. I kind of prefer the latter in this case, which is a rarity in the current stage of my life where I'm itching to jump into any co-op game I can find.
I only played this game for a week or so, but I've already got enough anxiety-inducing memories and triumphs to carry me for a long while before I hop back in. But you definitely should, unless you've got a weak heart (seriously, I think this game broke me, as I used to be fairly immune to jump scares, but after this game, I'm almost at streamer levels of jumping at any shadow (just ask the guys I ran the new Destiny dungeon with; my heart was at its limit).



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Aliens: Fireteam Elite
Not to study, not to bring back, but to wipe them out.

Skill-Up puts it better than I can in the above video. Fireteam Elite is all we've wanted in an Aliens game, loaded with fanservice for every level of Alien fan (even you Prometheus-enjoying weirdos have several bones thrown your way). It's just crazy fun in co-op, and we have several videos where Sammy, my brother, and I are screaming incessantly as the alien horde swarms out of the walls, ceilings, and vents. We haven't finished it, but where we stopped playing was a truly magical sequence of terror that not enough co-op games deliver (see my above post on Generation Zero for more info). I don't want to spoil it, but my brother was so stunned, that he couldn't even scream, a problem I clearly didn't have when he succumbed to the horror.


All in all, a slow but successful year, though I could talk about Warframe's great "The New War" quest if y'all want. :P

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Genshin

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, January 04, 2022, 07:49 (216 days ago) @ Korny

I forgot to mention the music! The music in Genshin is stellar. It initially seems like sort of genetic fantasy video game music, but it moves beyond that. The way each new zone changes the music to match while also remaining thematically similar is something few games get right, but Genshin nails it. It’s one of the few game soundtracks that has made its way into my day to day listening. I often play it at work.

It’s also great to see how the developers continue to excitement and grow with each new zone, building on the core of exploration.

Genshin

by EffortlessFury @, Tuesday, January 04, 2022, 18:49 (215 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Azhdaha's "Rage Beneath the Mountains" is Genshin's "Sepiks Redux." Tell me I'm wrong. XD

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So, what was your favourite game you played in 2021?

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Wednesday, January 05, 2022, 10:55 (215 days ago) @ CyberKN

Red Dead Redemption 2, Shadow Warrior 2, Prototype 2, Katamari Damacy REROLL, Carrion, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, & Sundered: Eldritch Edition. Based on achievements, these are the games I played this year (that were new for me). I started Red Dead 2 late into 2020, but most my time playing was in 2021... thus here it is.

See too some Witcher 3, Splinter cell and what not, but I've played those before... they don't count. Some clips at the end though.

Of them all, I'd have to say... Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. Should be Red Dead Redemption 2, but it isn't. Why? Well read on!

Red Dead Redemption 2 - Wow... wow. Wow. Let me just start off with that. This is my first Rockstar game I've ever played and... well, ok. That might not be true. Earthworm Jim 3D & Max Payne come to mind, so maybe its better to say that it's been a while, and this is my first modern Rockstar game I've played. In any event, despite it's "Grand Theft Auto in-the-Old-West" core... it's more as if made for me then not. The Tech. The Environments. The attention to details... all so well crafted into a pot of... I traveled back in time. I actually traveled back in time.

This game gave to me it's price of admission and more with one beautiful moment. I cherish it. It's something only this sort of media could ever provide. Know too that while I am no Historian, I do have a solid if occasionally lightly smudged map of history. Old west included.

For the sake of the story, I'm going to include a visual (which is not the story its self). This clip here starts off right after I tossed a knife into the back of a would be robber, saving a couple. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The old west m i rite?

Make a mental note of the environment right afterwords when I turn around and call my horse.

Finally the story; So in this game there are vaudeville style shows, as there would be at this time. I totally ignored them. Waste of virtual cash, I thought. That despite the option, it would be some cheap trick. As we play video-games, or at least for me, as I enjoy I also know that its all simulated. So I just ignore the shows and why not... have I mentioned how utterly GORGEOUS the environments are in this game? OH-My-LAWD! Just to have the idea was silly. (Side Note: Goodness its so odd to praise how good the game looks and not mention... you know... REAL LIFE.)

Then I finally reached a point in my exploration where I uncovered on my map, Saint Denis. The "Jewel of Lemoyne". Wow. At some point, I had on my person enough funds to say... you know what, sure. There is nothing to lose, what do ya got Rockstar? So I went to the local vaudeville theater, purchased a ticket, and watched. And man folks, credit to Rockstar, it was a full on vaudeville show. I was surprised that song was as old as it apparently(?) is. (Presuming they did their homework, but looking around in the game, I have no reason to aggressively doubt it.)

It was indeed, in some way, fun. A good time. Got out of the virtual seat, left the theater, and as it always seems to happen, day was now night (with the bonus of some very atmospheric fog). When I walked out of that theater *SNAP* that's when it happened. I time traveled.

You ever just... you walk out of a theater, totally jazzed and satisfied by the entertainment, only to walk out and be met by a similarly fine ambiance of the evening? The cherry on top of a particularly fine experience... it's a beautiful night. Calm air matched by the distant songs of equally satisfied folks walking in their respective directions as needed. It's simply lovely. It's good. Everything is good and as it should be, if only for the moment.

I walked out of that Red Dead Redemption 2 theater, this video game, and suddenly... I was not playing a video game. I was in 1899 and I was walking the quiet foggy streets of New Orleans...er, Saint Denis. I would, for about 5 minutes time, completely lose myself and just... be there. It all just jelled... just a beautiful experience, a waking dream, cognizant and alive. And yes, I did realize it and yes I did indeed shed a tear.

...fantastic. Best I can, but the words just don't do true justice.

Then I must 'posit the question; With such an experience alone, not even including the rest of the praise this game well deserves, how is it that this isn't my favorite game I played in 2021? One thing. This one choice totally became a gamestopper for me. For a game to be so... so BRILLIANT, for this one thing, this choice... I just. It's a darned pebble in a shoe, and suddenly I can't walk anymore.

A big part of game is speaking in ever old west fashion, guns. Could say more, but you get it... I'm pretty sure a tumble weed just rolled by just now. What surprised me starting out this game, is that while in your "bullet time" there was no manual control of the "where to fire" aim. You just sweep the cursor over, and it auto ticks for ya. Fine. Felt rather unwieldy at first, but as I played the game at my own pace, I got better with it and ended up enjoying it. I got used to it and was able to play the game as I wanted to.

Well, I can't say how deep into the main story, but deep enough, apparently when you play a particular one of these unskippable story missions, you suddenly "gain" the ability to manually aim the "where to fire" and there is no option to change it back. This is such a shit, piss poor... I just can't. It's like mid-way playing Mario, hitting bricks doesn't break them, it just causes a concussion. A core rule of how to play the game has been ripped from me. I would feel the same way if it was the other way around too, the game should not be taking away options to play, but adding to it. That's the brief of it anyway, and I've not touched the game since. I reverted a save in-case I want to play around in the wilds again, but as far as the story goes, I'm stopped. And it's a darned shame.

Shadow Warrior 2 - This game is a candy enema. It's stupid, it's sloppy, and despite being shit, is pretty good if you just want to sit down, turn your brain off and dice demons. So... like Doom I guess, but its cheap cousin that's been eyeing across the room.

Prototype 2 - Only got this because it was on a heavy discount, and I recalled wanted to get it back in the day, and never did. Writing is more of a vapid joke then usual, but writing isn't why one plays this game either.

Katamari Damacy REROLL - Oh Japan.

Starting in October, I decided that I would start playing side games that generally matched a theme of that month. Nothing absolute, just a push towards expanding the styles of game I play.

Starting with...

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - I've had the disk for this for over a year. This game was totally off my radar until I just so happened to circumstance my way into... (don't ask; just work with me here)

---There are Spoilers in this Video. Come back after you have played!---

...this.

I was in that audience. Chatted with Tameem Antoniades after words. The big takeaway from this video above is the great effort they took in authentically representing the different shades of severe mental phycosis. To which I must now admit; I am a straight sucker for honest and authentic representations, but often in the case for the past. Historical movies and what not. Yet these folks claim they've in-great-effort congealed from the abstract and anarchic nature of the mind, thoroughly authentic representations of extreme human experience? BRO I'm SO IN. And I say that knowing I'd be about to confront the visual manifestations one can find in the dark caky corners of a human soul, but... well... sister, I'll be that extra voice for ya. After all, what's one more!

Really though... this game is not to be trifled with. It is not casual, as it's topics are not either. THIS GAME IS NOT FOR CHILDREN, and that ain't in just age there folks. When a Blood Eagle is one of least gruesome visuals seen, no more need be said there. And if you don't know what a Blood Eagle is, don't look it up. The nice version in description would be... what if lungs were wings? Yeah. And each moment, each "flavor" of phycosis is based on the experiences those with phycosis have had. Yes. Even, apparently, the meat hell. It's not funny, I'm actually glad I can't comprehend anymore then I can.

I really can not say it enough, this game is not for those whom are weak in stature or stomach. You are visiting through some of the most extreme and incomprehensible experiences a human can have, all with no control to bare! If you can survive this game (not that it's hard in that way), I can say with some confidence that you will be ever wiser from the experience. That alone makes it my game of the year for me, but of course there is more.

Note, this is a video game, and I've not even mentioned yet what it's like to play! What is the game? Well before I try to describe it, let me first say; headphones or a high end surround sound system is ABSOLUTELY required for full effect. This game grants content for all the senses, much like phycosis can do as well. No smell-o-vision though... thank goodness. So what is this game like to play? It's... very art house and very indie for starters. It is every method of telling a story. It's a moderate puzzler, and a mild fighter. I highly suggest you play this game on as easy a difficulty as you can, 'cus frankly, the fighting is more filler then not, which-does-not-mean it isn't enthralling or poorly done! There is just more to this game then swinging a slab around.

The clip is late in the game, but is at the same vain vague enough to tell you nothing all while showing you what I mean.

Alright folks... almost done with this one. What I'm about to talk about is what really makes this game the best game I have played this year. I could give more! I have plenty of praise for this game, but after this part here is where I'm going to end it. You're welcome.

So I'm about to share the very beginning to one of the experiences. Here it is.

How this was handled through out was done brilliantly. I can say no more. This game was the Best Game I played in 2021. Good Luck.

Carrion - Getting this out of the way first; the most common demerit of this game is its need of a map. And indeed, if you want to 100% all its levels, you will probably need to back track, when a map would be the most helpful. Fortunately in my play-through I was able to, through a mix of logic and dumb luck, weave my way to every which way I needed to go to allow me to 100% the game. Also, perhaps, mild memorization of locations, due to being aware of the issue mentioned. I knew that, for me, I had to dedicate my play time to this game, otherwise I would start forgetting stuff and potentially become lost. That's what is going against this game.

But...otherwise, it's a good time by and large. It honestly sells its self. Here are some clips. Cheers.

Sundered: Eldritch Edition - Grabbed this at a discounted whim. Why? Thought the art style (apparently this is hand drawn) looked neat. That's it.

This game, which has no new game plus might I add, starts SLOW, and there are definitely low points as you "clean the map" of the fog of war. Your untold figure it out your self (welcome!) task is to explore the whole map and gain power as you do it. Oh and there are morality endings too, but I'll say no more of that. It's a low tier metroidvania platformer. I had my fun with it, it had some cool bits. The clip below this is one of the more higher action moments, but there are some lulls too. The biggest enemy of this game is its uneven moments, and the biggest enemy in the game is suddenly becoming overwhelmed by the environmental traps & endless waves of foes slapping you around the map, with what you see below being some of the easiest to manage.

So yea, if you see this on discount, it looks interesting, and you are ok with high points and low points, then hey give it a go.


The End. "Some clips at the end though."

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So, what was your favourite game you played in 2021?

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, January 05, 2022, 14:27 (214 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

Red Dead Redemption 2 is the best open world ever. It’s right up there with The Witcher 3. It’s just so real. And I don’t mean just graphically. Like, the world is just so well designed, they considered all the details. I remember looking at a little stream and following it and seeing how well it all made sense as far as how water would accumulate and run to form that stream. Most games would just plop down a little stream and call it good, but those two games really seems to consider the details of how the geography works. They don’t feel like video game spaces, they feel like real environments.

You should push through RDR2. Arthur Morgan might be my favorite video game character ever, and it’s worth seeing his journey.

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The one I forgot:

by cheapLEY @, Friday, January 07, 2022, 11:39 (213 days ago) @ CyberKN
edited by cheapLEY, Friday, January 07, 2022, 12:17

Been playing Wordle for about a week now, after hearing about it on a few different podcasts. It’s great!

The one I forgot:

by Claude Errera @, Friday, January 07, 2022, 12:27 (213 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Been playing Wordle for about a week now, after hearing about it on a few different podcasts. It’s great!

One a day? That's poop!

(Got today's in 4, then was told I had to wait 12 hours for the next one. Ew.)

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The one I forgot:

by cheapLEY @, Friday, January 07, 2022, 13:51 (212 days ago) @ Claude Errera

Been playing Wordle for about a week now, after hearing about it on a few different podcasts. It’s great!


One a day? That's poop!

(Got today's in 4, then was told I had to wait 12 hours for the next one. Ew.)

It took me four as well.

I like that it’s one a day. It’s something I open in the morning, and if I get stuck I can just let it hang and come back later. One a day also means that everyone has the same word, so it can be fun to compare guesses at the end of the day.

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An endless version:

by cheapLEY @, Friday, January 07, 2022, 14:52 (212 days ago) @ Claude Errera

You rock!

by Claude Errera @, Friday, January 07, 2022, 21:19 (212 days ago) @ cheapLEY

- No text -

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Well, there goes my weekend

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Saturday, January 08, 2022, 14:04 (211 days ago) @ cheapLEY

PS: this kind of stuff is why I missed today's WORDLE (not actual WORDLE, don't worry about spoilers)

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So, what was your favourite game you played in 2021?

by Quick95, Monday, January 10, 2022, 07:58 (210 days ago) @ CyberKN

"Granny". Idk why this game is considered as "children content" bc it scared the fuck out of me each time I launched it.

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Hades?

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Monday, January 10, 2022, 08:59 (210 days ago) @ CyberKN

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Hades?

by cheapLEY @, Monday, January 10, 2022, 10:57 (210 days ago) @ kidtsunami

That game is very good. Super Giant’s best game for sure (Pyre is still my favorite, though).

I played Hades on Switch when it first released, but I played through quite a bit of it again when it hit Xbox last year.

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Fav. new board game

by squidnh3, Monday, January 10, 2022, 12:48 (210 days ago) @ CyberKN

I barely play any video games other than Destiny (dabbled a bit into Infinite multiplayer), but I do play board games fairly frequently. This year I learned Winter Kingdom (which is a redux of my favorite board game, Kingdom Builder) and Wingspan. I can see Winter Kingdom becoming my new favorite, but I need to get some more plays in.

Fav. new board game

by Claude Errera @, Monday, January 10, 2022, 13:55 (209 days ago) @ squidnh3

I barely play any video games other than Destiny (dabbled a bit into Infinite multiplayer), but I do play board games fairly frequently. This year I learned Winter Kingdom (which is a redux of my favorite board game, Kingdom Builder) and Wingspan. I can see Winter Kingdom becoming my new favorite, but I need to get some more plays in.

We played a lot of Wingspan this year. Was a surprise breakout for me.

Hades

by marmot 1333 @, Thursday, January 13, 2022, 15:04 (206 days ago) @ CyberKN

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