Off-Topic => All of all! => Topic started by: Prpl_Mage on December 31, 2021, 09:52:09 PM

Title: Games of 2021
Post by: Prpl_Mage on December 31, 2021, 09:52:09 PM
It's that time of year again and I hope all of you are doing fine despite all the stuff in the world right now.

I realize that we all probably have other medias of some sort that is our number one go-to when we need a dose of community or distractions these days but I like to think back at the times we had as teenagers (?) when we were making games and hanging out as people did back then.
Regardless, we've seen some posts of past members here this year and I hope they are all doing great. Let's be honest, this site doesn't have a lot of activity at all these days and there are other channels to post game ideas that goes beyond classic forums and most kids these days would probably not even understand how to navigate a site like this. But we'll stick around, we'll be here. When people want to find inspiration, or an old guide, or have the guts to create an account to ask a question or submit something to the complete resources (we're still getting the occasional submission).

At the end of it all, I hope your 2022 becomes a great year.

And also, these are the games I used to escape reality in 2021:


George Orwell inspired narrative game where you take on the role of a nameless government employee who is working a surveillance system into people's digital documents etc. in a contemporary age. The basic game play is simple, read text, save specific pieces predetermined by the game into different folders to trigger new things. The start of the game is a bit slow but it picks up towards the end. Still, it is divided into "acts" and there is only so much variation you can get out of it until you eventually reach the same point of no return towards the end.

Slay the Spire
It's a deckbuilder kind of thing meeting roguelike/harcore gameplay. You enter floors, solve the floor and then pick between the next rooms that are vaguely randomized. The floors are either combat, some treasure or choices. Playing the game unlocks 3 more player classes and some artifacts and such which luckily gives the game some variety and illusion of progress. Mind you, I'm terrible at these kind of games and never really reach the end of them. I know there is an endgame and ending of sorts but that's just beyond me. I love to build, but that doesn't necessarily means my build is good, or that I will find the items and cards I want, nor that I will avoid some random encounter that will obliterate me because of a string of bad luck.
I enjoyed this game enough to grab it on Switch as well.

Full Throttle Remastered

Old Lucas Arts point and click puzzle adventure remastered on Steam. The remaster is amazing first of all, you can press a key to switch to the old graphics seamlessly at any point in the game. During gameplay or mid cutscene. The game itself is about a future biker sort of thing getting dragged into some corporate plot. In true point and click adventure vein there are some tricky puzzels, items that need to be found and combined and farfetched solutions that no one in their right mind could've figured out. Never finished this back in the days so was fun to finally see the conclusion. Even though that wind-up bunny section is still ***.

Terraforming Mars digital

The board game is great but there's a lot of components going on and our group had to take a break because of covid. This was a great substitute for the main game that works surprisingly well just like the Scythe digital. There were a few bugs but they are solved now, and most of the game is easy to understand from playing the first time unlike the physical version. Thank you tooltips and error messages that can replace the rules lawyer!

Assassins creed
Got this one on GOG just for the heck of it. I missed this entire thing when it came out. Never got into it afterwards with any of the sequels and/or follow up games of the franchise. I mean, the game is great and all and I get all the fuzz about it back then. The exploration of the different cities, the side missions and PoI to get to as well as the marks you need to kill. You also return to the cities with larger parts of them unlocked, even if you don't really need the old parts anymore. The movement is surprisingly smooth as well which makes it play almost like a contemporary title. I mean, it's great, but after playing through it it gets a bit samey and I've had my fill of the gameplay to not lust for another similar game any time soon. But I guess that urge came back to people seeing how many other titles there are.

MHW Iceborne
The DLC/Expansion for Monster Hunter World. I didn't get it at launch because I was busy playing something else back then... Not sure what though, maybe it was just the 50$ price and the fact that my buddy wasn't interested at that point. But now we were seeing it at... Some steam sale for 50% off or so. Two new areas to explore, the new Master Rank (previously known as G rank in older games), some completely new monsters, some returning monsters from previous titles as well as varieties of existing monsters makes for a good challenge for those who enjoyed the base game. Most Master Rank monsters are HP sponges however which means that most good builds are all about offense which is a shame. You gotta use those new tools, like the Clutch Claw to really even the playing field.

Paper Mario Origami King
The first Switch Title I got once I got my Switch this year. I love it and kinda dislike it at the same time. The story and everything is classic Mario, excuses to visit strange places and collect things. Not as strong as the N64 game or the GC classic Thousand Year Old Door, but it still has that tongue in cheek humour from time to time and then just straight up satire such as Bowser lamenting about raising Bowser Jr on his own even though the kid has serious concentration issues and only hangs out with Koopas. Anyway, the new battle system is more or less a sliding puzzle instead of classic turn based RPG which I enjoy, it was a good push to make something more unique I believe even if I at times feel like I miss old school battles. Fighting bosses also turns the battle on it's head making the mechanics instead work differently even if the basic controls and actions remain the same. Attacks have limited uses again, but not 1 use like In Paper Star. Overall, great game, but didn't get all those "not-achievements" by perfecting each mini game and such.

Dead Cells
Got this one for the Switch, it's a nice Roguelike(?) where you start with some random items and then progress through the game which has the same overall structure of levels but the levels themselves are randomized. So from the first Area you can reach the "Promenade of the Condemned" an dfrom that "The Ramparts" etc. But once you unlock some permanent "runes" you can also reach the Toxic Sewers from the first area as an alternate exit, and the Sewers themselves have an exit to the Ramparts as well as other areas. As you play you also earn Cells that you can spend to unlock new possible weapon spawns as well as passive upgrades. I personally like this kind of system (because I'm terrible at this) so that even though I died again from a stupid decision I die knowing that at least I spent my Cells at the end of the previous level to almost reach that new upgrade that I may get in a future run. I honestly haven't beat the final boss at normal difficulty yet. I just screw up towards the end against it.

Final Fantasy Chronicles Remaster
More nostalgia trip. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the GC was just a gem for me. It had everything I wanted at that time. FFIX styled graphics, unique music, fancy spell animations, simple action rpg battle system, hoarding, grinding and most of all multiplayer.
The base game itself is pretty much the same thing, but once you beat the Meteor Parasite (Last boss) you get access to "post game" versions of all dungeons, now in a different order than the main game and picking up in difficulty after 3rd cycle dungeons. The most prominent change is the number of enemies in each spot, being made for multiplayer.

Dark Souls Remastered
Even more nostalgia here. I got Dark Souls some time back and didn't know what I was getting into. What I found was a game that honored the old school style of making games, in many aspects much like the first Zelda. Don't control the player too much, give them access to things they should avoid, put most of the lore into item descriptions and optional dialogue and smack in a classic stat based system for equipment and skills. It's a blast and even if it is unfair and hard at times since you are almost expected to die you can still enjoy playing it again! From playing before I know where to find some cool items early so I can just go grab them from the get go if I want to just suicide for it. Oh I should mention this is the Switch version of the game, it works surprisingly well for being handheld which was nice, didn't really have any problems with it except for it wanting me to have a Nintendo Subscription to play "online" to see other people's left messages and be part of the whole invasion thingy.

Monster Hunter Rise
I honestly started playing this about 5 days ago so far from done with it. But it's the most recent title of the Monster Hunter series, this time with a more Japanese theme to it (which is a nice change of pace except we see that a lot in other games as well). The Quality of Life changes from World are still there and some more. It's clear that Rise is catering to new players and more modern gamers in a lot of ways. People may miss the old ways of MH2 on the PSP where everything was slow but I kinda like it this way to be honest. You have a dog you can ride anywhere you want, you can now move freely across the map and use a "wirebug" to move vertically as well. Wall running, tracking monsters by just looking at the mini map etc. The game feels different, but if you've played World before then you know what you're getting into. Oh, speaking of World. This one instead has a HUB for multiplayer so you can play together without needing to care about story progression.

Title: Re: Games of 2021
Post by: Moosetroop11 on January 01, 2022, 07:49:17 PM
Happy new year : ) I've been playing:

FF9 - I've been watching 4-8 productions play through all the final fantasies on youtube and whilst he was playing 8 I got the urge to complete 9 again myself. I remembered it being really slow, with some painful dungeons that bogged down a generally great game - but this time I really enjoyed it and it's definitely held up well. I'd never done chocobo hot and cold before so I completed all that stuff finally.

Caves of Qud - Cool sci-fi roguelike, I think I mentioned it at some point. Since it's permadeath I tend to have a character I'm playing for quite a while, and then I die and quit the game for a few weeks because I can't bear the idea of starting from scratch again : p You can play as a mutant or as a character that can have cybernetic implants, and the mutations/implants can do all sorts of awesome things. Wandering around the world surviving and visiting settlements is really immersive and I can end up accidentally playing it long into the night.

Dwarf Fortress - Again I might have already mentioned it. I love dwarf fortress, though it's not for everyone. It's basically a hyper complex fortress management simulator where all your little dwarves have personalities of their own and the better you get at understanding what's going on in the game, the more you grow to love individual dwarves and get devastated when they die. The game takes place in a persistent world with a randomised history and you can retire a fortress and start a new one, or wander around as an adventurer, and over the years add to the history. For instance you could look into the history and find an event where a dragon or something was slain in the year X by a specific weapon. Then you could look up the weapon and find out who made it and where its current location likely is. Then you could go there as an adventurer and try to get it, or send your dwarves out in fortress mode to try and raid the place and bring it back.

Minecraft - Less than I was, but I have enjoyed the caves and cliffs part 2 update and still go on my old server every now and then.

That's basically it, I don't play a lot of games that you can start and finish, mostly just the same old ones continuously : p
Title: Re: Games of 2021
Post by: Apex on January 08, 2022, 10:03:35 PM
I went overboard with older consoles this last year. I bought the following consoles:
Sega Saturn w/ Satiator ODE
Sega Dreamcast w/ GDEmu ODE
NES that I RGB modded; w/ Everdrive N8 Pro
Xbox w/ Sata adapter and Tony Hawk 4 for the softmod
Xbox 360 Slim installed a glitch chip and bigger HDD
Gamecube w/ GCLoader
Dead Game Gear I replaced all the capacitors in, and installed a newer LCD; w/ Everdrive GG x7
PC Engine Core Grafx II w/ Super HD System 3 Pro

Modded/Outfitted the following consoles I already owned:
Genesis: got a Mega Everdrive Pro
SNES: Got an FX Pak Pro
Playstation: PSIO (don't recommend, the dev sucks. My model wasn't compatible with the Xstation.)
N64: RGB modded; bought an Everdrive 64 x7
GBA: Installed an IPS display and got an Everdrive x5
PS2: Got a Sata adapter and threw a 500GB drive in there
Wii & Wii U: got an external drive enclosure and a smaller HDD for both

I've got other systems, but I didn't do anything in particular with them this year. I learned and got some practice soldering in 2019, so I wanted to try to 'upgrade' some of my older consoles and things got out of control pretty quickly. I have to say it's quite nice to be able to play so many games on so many consoles they were originally made for though, nothing beats the feel of the original hardware. That being said, emulation is still a great choice if you don't want to spend a small fortune. Games themselves have gotten too expensive though, I'd rather do a one time purchase of a flashcart or ODE than spend twice as much on one or two games worth playing for each console. For example I owned a copy of Tron Bonne for Playstation that I sold for $700, and used to buy a several of consoles listed above.

It goes without saying that I played a lot of games this year, but here are a few standout ones:
Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker (Crystal - Marlboro, maybe we can play together!) - PC
Silent Hill 1 - 3 - PSX, Xbox, PS2
Sonic Advance 1 - 3 - GBA
All the Game Gear Sonic Games
Metroid Prime 2 - GC
Final Fantasy II - NES (it sucked)
Cystalis - NES
Little Samson - NES
Castlevania - NES
Castlevania Bloodlines - Genesis
Super Castlevania 4 - SNES
Banjo Kazooie - N64
Lost Odyssey - X360
Snatcher - Sega CD
Rocket Knight Adventures - Genesis
Persona 3 FES - PS2
Klonoa - PSX
Castlevania Circle of the Moon - GBA
Castlevania Symphony of the Night - Saturn (Saturn has exclusive content that's worth mentioning.)
Nights into Dreams - Saturn
Skies of Arcadia - DC
Panzar Dragoon 1 and 2 - Saturn
Baulder's Gate Dark Alliance 1 & 2 - Xbox
Splatter House - PC Engine

Sheesh, a bunch others too, but I can't think of them.
I'm currently trying to finish:
Ys Book 1 & 2 - PC-Engine CD
Castlevania Rondo of Blood - PC-Engine CD
Title: Re: Games of 2021
Post by: Archem on January 09, 2022, 11:42:19 PM
Another year, another list.


Shantae and the Seven Sirens (PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4, iOS)

Another entry in the excellent metroidvania series. It's colorful, the controls are responsive, the music is great, the characters are fun, and it's more of the same (in a good way). The only real complaint I had about it was the short length, but that's just how metroidvanias go, it seems. Definitely recommended.

Shadow Warrior (2013) (PC, Xbox One, PS4)

In the old times, there was a Build Engine shooter that did some really cool stuff. It had an action hero-like lead character who spouted one-liners while using big guns to kill bad guys in a variety of environments all while making very crass, very 90s jokes and references. That game would become something of a legend, and would have a series that went under the radar for over a decade. That game was Duke Nukem 3D. Shadow Warrior was a follow-up game made by 3D Realms that did a lot of the same things, but with the benefit of having lessons learned from DN3D. It was a good game, and I played it a few years back (Check out the Games of 2013 thread to see my take).

Well, in the same year I played through the original, a remake was made. It was graphically impressive, featured a less offensive take on the Chinese culture used in the game, completely re-imagined Lo Wang (the main character), and had a focus more on sword-based combat and magic. In theory, it's pretty cool. In practice, it's pretty bad. The game is technically just fine, but the fatal flaw is that enemies are so tanky that even fights against fodder enemies feels like a slog. The biggest problem is that no gun ever feels powerful, not even the power weapons. When I have to reload a rocket launcher mid-fight against a single basic enemy because the first three direct hits didn't kill it, there's clearly a big problem. Even worse, there's so little ammo that you'll probably run out before you kill your target anyway. The most effective weapon most of the time is the sword, and a lot of that is down to being able to spam healing magic and attacks with it.

Really, this game is such a shame, because everything about it is great except for the combat, and that's the most important part of any shooter. Well, not everything. The level design is kind of bland, and the bosses are very repetitive. Not a good game, but it feels like it could have been if they just tweaked the enemy health and ammo.

Axiom Verge (Wii U, Xbox One, PS4, PC, PS Vita, Switch)

This is another metroidvania. If you've been following my games of each year for a while now, you'd likely realize that I have a type. Anyway, this game is about as Metroid as you can get. Visually, it looks like the NES Metroid, but designed like Super Metroid. I honestly can't say I remember enough about the story at this point, so I'll skip that for now. But the game gameplay is excellent. It also really manages to encapsulate that early-Metroid feeling of hostility and obtuse level design. Not everyone may like that, but I do. It's nice to have a world that feels organic, one where it really feels like it wasn't meant to be fully explored, but you make it happen anyway. Feels like you're cheating the system and breaking the rules, but that's kind of the idea. Anyway, really cool. Excited to play the sequel, which released this year.


Cyber Shadow (PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4, PS5)

A retro-styled action-platformer made to look and feel like those NES classics (most obviously Ninja Gaiden). You're a robot ninja, and you're trying to avenge your clan and kill the bad guy. Pretty basic, very much how games of the time handled their stories. The gameplay is where it's at, and it's fast-paced, flashy, and fun. It's also pretty difficult, so it's definitely got that part of NES action-platformers down. The sprites are very pretty, the levels are designed really well, the secrets are pretty well hidden, the music is killer, and this game really is the real deal. Love it.


Donkey Kong Country (SNES, GBC, GBA, Wii (Virtual Console), Wii U (Virtual Console), Switch (Virtual Console))

For a long time, I just kind of slept on this game. I had played the first couple of levels a few times, but I always just kind of felt like it was an inferior Mario. To be honest, I kind of still do. I wanted to try and give it a fair shot, though, so that's how this playthrough happened. My love of the Donkey Kong Country Returns games has a lot to do with that. Anyway, there's not much to say that people don't already know: The music is god-tier, the graphics (at least for the time) are jaw-dropping, the gameplay is tight, and the levels are all memorable and unique. The final boss is pretty lame, though, and is such an awful end to an otherwise consistent game. It's definitely worth playing through. I just don't think it's as good as Mario games of the time, and it definitely isn't up to the quality of Tropical Freeze (because that game's a mastah-PEECE).

Panzer Dragoon: Remake (PC, Switch, PS4, Stadia)

A remake of the Sega Saturn classic. If you're not familiar, it's Star Fox, but you ride on a dragon. It's fun, but I hear people compare it somewhat negatively to the original. I haven't played the original, so I can't make that comparison. It's very replayable, though. The whole thing can be finished in under an hour, which is honestly kind of a bummer. I definitely don't know if it's really worth getting at full price unless you plan on playing through dozens of times, but I liked it well enough. Beat it a few times on all the difficulties, and tried to get most of the achievements but got bored and gave up. Get it on sale.

Frog Fractions (PC)

I already knew the twist going in, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. If you want to check this out and haven't already heard what happens, maybe skip this write-up. Ready? Okay, here we go. Frog Fractions spends the opening minutes presenting itself as an edu-tainment game aimed at children to help them learn fractions. It doesn't take long to figure out that knowing fractions doesn't really matter to the gameplay, and you start to get upgrades that make it feel more like a shmup. Eventually, you get a dragon that you can ride on, and that opens the whole game up into this absurdist adventure that regularly switches up the gameplay (and genre) of the game so fast that it's impossible to be bored. My favorite part was definitely the test adventure part. Really fun and silly game that I think everyone should check out, assuming you haven't already.

Star Wars: Dark Forces (PC, PS)

Ah, Dark Forces. The first adventure featuring Kyle Katarn, a fan favorite character who has unfortunately been removed from canon because Disney doesn't like Star Wars expanded universe stuff. This is a good game that has some excellent combat and massive levels. They can get a little confusing at times, but the verticality and interactivity of the game puts Doom to shame. It also features an absolutely giga-chad moment where you punch out a bunch of Kell Dragons. I played on an incomplete source port which, unfortunately, means I missed out on about half of the arsenal in the game, but I still had a great time gunning down storm troopers. I also had to cheat to clip through some broken doors. Hoping that a more complete source port (or better yet, an official remaster) comes out one day. Really fun game.


Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King (PC, Switch)

An indie Zelda-like. It's a grandpa telling his grandkids a story that he seems to be making up on the fly. The game is pretty basic and pretty easy, but it's charming and has a decent amount of game for what it is. There's a bit of resource grinding, which pads out the game a bit, but it's not that bad. Honestly, it's not too bad, but it's maybe too shallow for me to really recommend.

Super Mario Sunshine (GameCube, Switch)

A classic Mario title that has had an inconsistent reputation over the years. One moment, it's a beloved masterpiece, the next, it's a disaster of a game. I have to tell you, replaying it, I think it deserves both of these reputations. I jumped right in after playing through Super Mario 64, and that perspective made me feel so liberated with the game's smooth movement and even more open level designs.

Really, the game (at first) looks like a perfect improvement over Super Mario 64. However, things start to go downhill after a while. The movement, nice as it is, has no room for fine control. Mario is either barely moving or sprinting around, and it makes some challenges a frustrating mess. This is contrasted by how acrobatic Mario is in the air, and most levels don't require too much precision, so you don't really notice the movement problems most of the time.

Blue coins are kind of awful, though. The way they're hidden can be so obtuse at times, and the fact that they're often only available during specific missions makes just searching for them a chore. Worse, though, is the missions themselves, which range from basic Mario fare to infuriating and poorly-designed tests of your patience. It's no wonder I quit before finishing the game as a kid. Anyway, it's fun, but deeply flawed. So glad that every 3D Mario released since then is better overall, because this very charming game just needed some more attention.


Olli Olli (PC, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Switch, Android)

Oh man, a 2D skateboarding game that's set up more like a precision platformer/auto runner? What a novel concept! Impressively, it manages to avoid being dull, and the challenges are actually pretty tricky (get it?), even if they're kind of just variations of the same thing over and over. Really fun game that's perfect for playing in short bursts.

Olli Olli 2: Welcome to Olliwood (PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS Vita, Switch)

More of the first game, but much more ridiculous. While the first game had fairly grounded and realistic locations and levels, this game goes for over-the-top and ridiculous, both in the level settings, their designs, and the challenges. It's everything the first game did, but better. I really liked this game, and I can't wait to see how they handle Olli Olli World. It sure looks like a big change in direction.

Metro 2033 (PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, Stadia)

Metro 2033 is a gritty post-apocalyptic FPS set in the subway tunnels beneath Russia. It's based on a series of novels, and has a couple of sequels. It's pretty cool. I honestly don't have much to say about it. Upgrading guns feels kind of pointless unless you're dedicating yourself to just a single weapon because you don't get enough money to really do much, and given that the best weapons aren't really available until later in the game, it's kind of a waste to spend it on the early guns. On top of that, you're just given fully upgraded versions of some of these at the end of the game. Feels kind of like wasted potential.


Oceanhorn (iOS, Android, PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS Vita, Switch)

This is a Zelda-like that draws obvious inspiration from Wind Waker, but plays like a janky indie isometric Zelda. It's a bit plain, with little variety in environments or enemies. It's okay, but not anything too special.


Psychonauts (PC, Xbox, PS2)

Ah, a classic. Well, a cult classic. This game was kind of a dud when it came out in 2005, as everyone just didn't care about collectathon platformers anymore, and Majesco didn't do much to advertise the game. It was years until people started to pick up on the game and realize that, yeah, this game was awesome. The writing is very clever, the levels are so unique and brilliantly designed, and the story was surprisingly smart. A successful crowdfunding campaign got a sequel funded, and hey, it's great, too! Haven't finished it yet, so expect to see that on the 2022 write-up. I think I already talked about the VR in-between-quel that came out a few years back that bridges the stories.


Metroid Dread (Switch)

Finally, a new Metroid game. Metroid Dread has an unusual history. It was kind of shadow announced years back, and had some teases and references made, including a hint at it featured in Metroid Prime 3. Well, much like its shadow announcement, it was shadow cancelled. Then, out of nowhere, it was announced that not only was the game real, it was coming out in a few months. And it was excellent. Really, the game is so perfectly designed, and Metroid fans have quickly started calling it the best (or maybe second best) game in the series. The movement really is a game changer. Samus has always been kind of bulky in the past, but here, she's sprinting and sliding and wall jumping with ease, and it just feels incredible to control. It's also filled with all sorts of throwbacks and references to the series, and it shows that developers Mercury Steam really cared when making this game. Strongly recommended.

Final Doom - TNT Evilution (Everything)

Final Doom was an official pack of two megaWADs, essentially a two-for-one expansion pack. There was some controversy, as it was meant to be a free fan release that iD bought out on the day that it was supposed to release and then made it a commercial product. Still though, it's fun. I don't have much to say other than that this is a bunch of well-made Doom II maps. If you like Doom, this is more Doom.

Burnout Paradise (PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Switch)

Burnout is an awesome (and unfortunately, dead) racing series that highlights crashes in addition to its phenomenal racing action. This game took the idea of driving like a maniac and causing destruction and put it in an open world. It's great, I love it. Now, the game can be a bit repetitive because it resets completed challenges several times through the game, and they usually use the same few starting/ending locations for every challenge, but it's fun enough to make it easy to keep playing anyway. The remaster also includes the DLC, including Big Surf Island, so that's a nice source of new, unique challenges. Honestly, it's a blast, and it's nice that it runs and a stable 60 fps on the Switch. Fast, intense racing on the go is so, so nice.


Final Doom - The Plutonia Experiment (Everything)

The second half of Final Doom, Plutonia is known for its crushing difficulty. The levels are more memorable that TNT, if you ask me. Again, not much new to say about more Doom. It's pretty fun.
Title: Re: Games of 2021
Post by: zuhane on January 12, 2022, 11:24:26 AM
Title: Re: Games of 2021
Post by: Momeka on January 12, 2022, 04:40:44 PM
I played Valheim, it was pretty fun
Title: Re: Games of 2021
Post by: Moosetroop11 on January 13, 2022, 01:53:49 PM
Ah yeah I played that with a bunch of friends, it was great : ) I enjoyed farming crops for everyone and how the buildings degrade and stuff and I really like the boats, I think that game's really well done.