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LONG BLOG

A Breakdown of Everything I Played in 2018

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I think 2018 was a fantastic year for games. I played some games that are now in my all-time favourites, got sequels to games I’ve wanted for ages, I got to revisit classics with an incredible new lick of paint and I discovered a lot of smaller developers and became their fan. I even bought a new console and an add-on to a console, and love both!

Essentially, 2018 gave me all I look for from videogames. There have been disappointments and a whole bunch of shit (#Darksiders3 #ShadowoftheTombRaider #XenobladeChronicles2) but that’s fine. Life is good and bad; this year, the good heavily outweighed the bad. In quantity and quality. I loved 2018.

So, to put a nice little cap on the year, I’ve gone and listed all the games I played last year. All 117(ish) games.  A few caveats:

  • This list includes games I didn’t finish because they sucked too much.
  • Some games might be missing, as I didn’t keep a running list so I’m basing this off of memory and my trophy list.
  • I’ve put my Switch games in a separate list as I have no idea when I played them, as the Switch doesn’t keep track as far as I can see and I can’t remember.
  • I think I played a couple mobile games but I can’t be arsed to include them so yeah

I’ll include the month and platform I played the game on, a little description with my thoughts and a score out of 10. I have decided to include ports of games released in the previous year only, so stuff like Hollow Knight gets in but I avoided it as much as possible.

Anyway, onto the list!

Prey (Jan18, PS4)

The first game I played in 2018 and what a great start. I love Prey. There is just so much organic freedom and it really fosters your creativity to just go and explore how you see fit. Overlooked gem that is dirt cheap, buy it now. (9/10)

Abzu (Jan18, PS4)

Journey but underwater is the best way to describe Abzu. I had a great time taking in the sights and soaking up the atmosphere. It’s a little more ‘gamey’ than Journey and doesn’t have that same sense of wonder but still a must buy if you like that kind of shit. (8.5/10)

Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island (Jan18, PS4)

I honestly forgot I played this this year. It’s a 3rd person platformer and doesn’t do anything especially exciting. It is cheap though. If you’re starved for a 3rd person platformer, give it a go. Otherwise, ignore. (6/10)

Root Letter (Jan18, PS4)

A Visual Novel with lovely visuals and music but a terribly unlikeable main character and pretty dull story. The endings are wonderfully weird and strange though and I liked learning more about this sleepy little Japanese town. This is for the digital tourists out there. (6.5/10)

Assault Android Cactus (Jan18, PS4)

This is some classic twin stick arcade action here man. Tough but rewarding and slick gameplay with some decent replay value as characters play quite differently. Give it a look-see, it was on PS+ if I recall. (7.5/10)

COD: Infinite Warfare (Jan18, PS4)

Here we are. The first of the shit games. Had to happen sometime. Awful, awful, awful story. Shit cardboard characters. Mind numbingly boring gameplay that, despite being in space and having a goddamn grappling hook, is still so boringly 2008. This sucks man. (2.5/10)

Matterfall (Jan18, PS4)

I got to admit, I was a little disappointed. If you remember the E3 reveal for this game, it was crazy and I thought we’d be getting something big. But the final game was a side scrolling shooter, though a very, very good one. I really liked it but I learned to keep my expectations in check. (8/10)

The Evil Within (Feb18, PS4)

I’ve never played a Resident Evil game and generally don’t like horror games much. But I loved Evil Within. I think it was mostly the direction; some shots were just beautifully done and the overall game has this cohesiveness to it. I had a ton of fun. (9/10)

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (Feb18, PS4)

A walking sim set in the English countryside and so visually faithful that I couldn’t see anything weird or out of place. I really liked exploring this village and its backstory, though the waking speed is diabolical. People can jog you know! We aren’t all asthmatic 70 year olds. (8/10)

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 2 (Feb18, Vita)

Essentially what would happen if Falcom made a Persona game, I freaking love this series. Great characters and writing, deep combat, a long and engaging story, kickass music. And man, that story really goes places. Can’t wait for Cold Steel 3 and 4! (9.5/10)

Yooka Laylee (Feb18, PS4)

You know, I had a lot of fun with Yooka Laylee. The writing is terrible and it runs kinda poorly in some spots but I had fun just using the various mechanics to get to places in unintended or hilarious ways. There’s a lot of freedom here to experiment and fuck around with. It could be better but I had fun. (7.5/10)

Shadow of the Colossus (Feb18, PS4)

I mean, what can I say? One of the best games of all time but with an insane visual makeover. Honestly, one of the best looking games of the year. The remastered soundtrack is sublime too, even the changes to some tracks are great (though I keep both versions on my phone). An all-time classic, now even better. 60fps on PS4 Pro makes this as close to perfect as can be. Buy it. No excuses. (11/10)

Steins;Gate (Feb18, Vita)

I’ve seen the anime years ago but playing the game is a whole other thing. Mainly all those different endings man. Strong men cry too. My favourite Visual Novel and a must play for everyone. (10/10)

Sky Force Anniversary (Mar18, Vita)

A top down bullet hell game, I had good fun playing this. I did need to grind to upgrade my ship, which was a little annoying but overall this is a solid recommendation for fans of the genre. (7/10)

Exile’s End (Mar18, Vita)

The first game of 2018 I didn’t finish. Seriously, I started it up and went ‘wow, this game looks like shit’. Then I moved my character and went ‘wow, this controls like shit’. Then I fell off a cliff and died. That’s when I deleted it. Nope. (Unscored)

Hatoful Boyfriend (Mar18, Vita)

I did not enjoy this much. The joke (oh, it’s a dating sim but with pigeons) got old after 10 minutes. Then it’s just a really sub-par dating sim with try hard ‘funny’ writing. I got 2 endings and called it a day. (3/10)

Dungeon Punks (Mar18, Vita)

Bleh. Garbage. Looks, sounds and plays bad. Commit Sudoku before playing this. Didn’t finish it, deleted after an hour. (Unscored)

Yakuza 0 (Mar18, PS4)

I bought this on release in 2017, played a bit and then left it. I mean, Gravity Rush 2 and Persona 5 were released around the same time, you can’t blame me. But I’m so glad I finally it because Yakuza 0 is amazing. It’s just an experience like nothing I’ve played. Weird, funny yet poignant. A must play. (9.5/10)

Dragons Dogma: Dark Arisen (Mar18, PS4)

What a disappointment man. After everything I’ve heard and seen, this should have amazing. And yet, I got a generic looking RPG with an asinine and boring main quest that I had little investment in, a world I grew to hate having to traverse again and again and again and the ending just made it worse because…it’s amazing. I love the last section of the game. Why couldn’t the main quest be that cool and interesting? Wasted potential. (4/10)

Observer (Apr18, PS4)

Cyberpunk detective walking sim. I liked the visuals but it ran like shit on my PS4 and the story was pointlessly confusing. I literally had no idea what was even happening at certain points. But I did still finish it so there was something there I guess. (6/10)

Small Radios Big Televisions (Apr18, PS4)

A very strange, arty indie game that I actually can’t describe. I just felt really nice and kinda ‘zen’ playing it. It’s cheap and I like it, that’s it tbh. (8/10)

Lara Croft GO (Apr18, Vita)

This is more faithful to the IP that the main series, I’ll tell you that much. A simple to understand puzzle game that ramps up in complexity and had me stumped at points. Highly recommended! Give Hitman GO a try afterwards! (9/10)

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst (Apr18, PS4)

Ughh. I did not enjoy the original Mirror’s Edge. This is worse. Faith is an awful character and the writing is very poor, which is to be expected from DICE. I quite enjoyed running around and climbing stuff but the level and game design lets it down. So much empty space and open world filler. There is something here but I think the series just isn’t there yet. Maybe one day. (4/10)

Heart&Slash (Apr18, PS4)

Never finished this game. Quite like the visuals and gameplay in the beginning but, unfortunately, this is a roguelite. Resetting after death wore me down pretty quick and a couple cheap deaths later, I uninstalled. This game made me realise that I dislike the entire genre. Shame. (Unscored)

The World of Nubla (Apr18, PS4)

I’m gonna be honest. Half the reason I bought this was because it was like £1 and the art looked nice. But you know, I liked it. Real chill, you walk through a museum and go through paintings, solving simple puzzles. Real short and easy but you know, can’t go wrong for £1. Also, the ending track is a complete rip-off of the FFX-2 intro song. Making original music is hard. (6.5/10)

Until Dawn (Apr18, PS4)

Ah man, I was so surprised by how good Until Dawn was. It’s a schlocky B-movie horror and it’s amazing. I loved/hated all the characters in different ways (Mike is the best), it’s got so many horror references (check out the trophies!) and your choices feel like they actually matter. Really, really, really good. Fully recommend for fans of Telltale games and horror games. (9/10)

Here They Lie (Apr18, PS4)

I still don’t know what this game is about. It’s a very strange and unnerving walking sim. But I was invested until the end, even if I didn’t get it. A little rough presentation wise but worth a play. (6.5/10)

God of War (Apr18, PS4)

A masterpiece. A reinvention of Kratos and a deep dive into his character and motivations. A visual marvel that constantly amazed me with cutting edge technology married with exquisite art design. A score that has stuck with me all year. Crunchy and satisfying combat that makes killing things oh so delicious. I adore this game and it is really testing Bloodborne as my Game of the Generation. It’s that good. It’s shown me what videogames can be, just like Final Fantasy XII and Shadow of the Colossus did all those years ago. (GOTY/10)

Shadow Warrior 2 (May18, PS4)

Ooof. I was bored of playing SW2 long before I finished it. It’s just a grind. Levels blend together, gore and blood become blasé. Combat is fun but it becomes very mindless and number orientated before long. I ended up just rushing to complete every objective ASAP to get it done with. A sequel needs a major rethink. Guns are satisfying though. (4/10)

Thumper (Jun18, PS4)

A ‘Rhythm Horror’ game, which sounds ridiculous but is really accurate. I didn’t finish the game as I heard it was better in VR and I was going to pick up PSVR during Black Friday. Still not got around to finishing Thumper yet but I enjoyed what I played. Rhythm Horror! (Unscored)

The Evil Within 2 (Jun18, PS4)

I liked the direction they took with TEW2. Having these little hubs to explore helped alleviate the stifling linearity of the previous game and there were some really cool moments. It didn’t have quite the same weird vibe and standout direction but I still really dug it. Here’s hoping for the perfect 3rd game! (8.5/10)

Assassin’s Creed Origins (Jul18, PS4)

Yeah, I didn’t really get on with Origins too much. I love the Egyptian setting and Bayek is fun. Ubisoft make beautiful worlds that you just want to look at and explore. But the combat is so messy, I felt like mashing buttons would have the same effect. Story is bad (as is typical of Ass Creed), the chemistry between Bayek and his wife is so strange and unrealistic and most characters are poorly written in general. And the typical Ubisoft open-world template is as uninspired as always. It’s whatever. (6/10)

Rime (Jul18, PS4)

I was sold on this game as ICO but colourful, however it felt like its own unique thing. I loved exploring this world and the nice if somewhat easy puzzles. Really good ending too. Got me right in the feel boner. I highly recommend it. (9/10)

Just Cause 3 (Jul18, PS4)

Oh boy. I spend so much time in Just Cause 2, exploring and exploding this gigantic world with unparalleled vertical freedom. It was like GTA but a b-movie with lots of explosions. It was great. Just Cause 3 however, is terrible. There is no visual diversity, it’s just Mediterranean all the time. The PS4 version is a mess and unpleasant to play. It’s missing polish and heart. (5/10)

Gran Turismo Sport (Jul18, PS4)

Didn’t have many expectations going in. Truthfully, I only bought GT Sport because it came free with a new Dualshock 4 so I went ‘why not?’ But man, this is still GT at its heart and I still enjoyed it as I did the past entries. It is so beautiful and Polyphony have addressed (or partially addressed) most of the series issues. Engines sound better, all cars are fully remade for the PS4, UI is slick, AI is…fine. Didn’t do much online but from my experience, the penalty system works because people actually fucking drive properly. The single player offerings are pretty great too. I can recommend this for the sim and petrol heads. (8.5/10)

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus (Jul18, PS4)

Hmmm. I’m a little split. I really liked the feel of this game, its super satisfying. The writing is mostly great, I especially love Blazkowiscz and his monologues on mortality. It’s like a deconstruction of the typical action hero. The supporting cast are great too; love Anna, the T H I C C nazi chick and Wyatt. But the level design leaves a lot to be desired and the difficulty balancing is awful and constantly shifts between insultingly easy to WTF hard. I didn’t like Grace either, they tried way too hard with her; I ended up rolling my eyes whenever she spoke. A third game will need some work but hey, I’m there for the ride. (7.5/10)

Absolver (Jul18, PS4)

Just very, very meh. The art style is on the wrong side of minimal, the combat is odd and I never fully got a grip on it. It manages to be both short and tedious to get through. I dunno, I feel like I missed something, some moment that would make this game shine. But it’s just meh. (5/10)

Bound (Jul18, PS4)

This was easily the most pretentious arty farty game I played this year but, thankfully, it had some meat to that pretention. Absolutely stunning visuals and the controls are on point. Its super satisfying to learn the momentum of your character and see just what you can do, like a Mario game almost. Really touching story too, both abstract yet understandable. Really, really good. (9/10)

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (Aug18, PS4)

Yo, if we ever get more Uncharted games, this is how you do it. The open world segment is incredible because it actually solves some of my gripes in open world games. No icons crowding the screen, no cluttered map screen (or maps screen at all!) You have a physical in-game map you pull out and mark. Things are marked on the map only, not the screen. You need to use landmarks and learn the area. It’s fantastic. I expected more Uncharted but I got an exciting prospect of the future for Naughty Dog. Very exciting! (9.5/10)

Sine More EX (Aug18, PS4)

I remember playing this on the Vita. Thought it was alright, didn’t care to finish it. Played it again on the Switch. Again, thought it was alright, didn’t finish it. And now on the PS4. Same story. I give up. (Unscored)

Asemblance: Oversight (Aug18, PS4)

I played the first Asemblance sometime in 2017 and it kinda stuck with me. A weird sci-fi story about being trapped in memories and solving obtuse puzzles. Strange and exciting. This is more of the same. I needed to follow a guide for the extra endings because this is some fucking super-duper obtuse shit. I don’t know how anyone is even supposed to figure out these endings without going into the game code. Still, cheap and thought provoking. (7/10)

Polybius (Aug18, PS4)

I started Polybius, enjoyed it, beat it in about 30-40 minutes and then deleted it. I think it’s fantastic but I don’t care about high scores, challenge runs or the like, so there was nothing left when I beat the game. Makes it hard to score to be honest. Can’t even recommend it in good conscience. Someone who has played it more, tell people how good/bad it is in the comments! (69/10?)

The Deadly Tower of Monsters (Aug18, PS4)

This game looks fantastic, like a Harry Hausen film in video game form. Stupidly cheesy sci-fi plot (you’re an astronaut with a robot buddy and femme fatale love interest who battles the bad alien guys). I love the presentation. But the gameplay sucksssssssss. It was a chore to get through and I dropped it after a few hours. There is potential here. A damn shame. (Unscored)

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (Aug18, Vita)

Most of Danganronpa V3 functions identical to past games. If you liked those, this will fill the hole. But that last chapter and ending… I’m still processing it all these months later. Some people will hate it, despise it, and say it ruined the entire series. Me, I think it’s some fucking genius shit. No more details but my dudes, play this game. Or if you’ve never tried the series, play all the games. They rock. (9/10)

Mass Effect: Andromeda (Aug18, PS4)

I think the best way to describe Andromeda is with vanilla ice cream. It’s good. Sometimes, even great. Rarely spectacular or interesting. That Andromeda. Fine, sometimes really good (those Architect fights are good shit). Mostly, it exists. I can’t recommend it but, if you already own it and have nothing else, it’s worth a punt. (5.5/10)

Guacamelee 2 (Sep18, PS4)

I goddamn love Guacamelee and I goddamn love Guacamelee 2. It’s very much more of the same but when that sameness is of such high quality and charm, I can’t complain. This is a must buy for fans of Metroidvania’s, comedy, Electro-Marachi music and the chicken illuminati. ALL HAIL THE CHICKEN ILLUMINATI! (10/10)

What Remains of Edith Finch (Sep18, PS4)

A deeply personal story of a family tormented by misfortune. The greatest achievement of this game is how it perfectly marries gameplay into its narrative to enhance the whole. All I will say is that one part of the game so perfectly simulated my mind-set that I was just in awe. I loved the developer’s prior work, ‘The Unfinished Swan’, and this is easily on par if not better. Must buy. (10/10)

Everything (Sep18, PS4)

I burst out laughing when I first started this game. By the time I finished it, I was contemplating the makeup of the universe, the fleeting worthlessness of man and how tiny and insignificant we are. And I enjoyed some fireworks. This game goes places man. Mind = Expanded. (8/10)

Spider-Man (Sep18, PS4)

Spider-Man is better than I remember Spider-Man 2 on the PS2 was; and that is the highest praise I can give. Insomniac utterly nailed Spider-Man’s character, relationships and world. Doc Oc is an insanely good villain, the web swinging is sex, and combat is slick and fast. My only complaints are that I wanted a few more meaty side missions and some more interesting open world events. There’s too much fighting groups of dudes, I want more races and stuff! Pizza delivery!!! I’m on-board for Spider-Man 2 either way; you got my money Insomniac. (9.5/10)

SUPERHOT (Sep18, PS4)

I can’t control what I’m typing. SUPERHOT is the most innovative shooter I've played in years! Someone send help. SUPERHOT is the most innovative shooter I've played in years! They have my family and are forcing me to SUPERHOT is the most innovative shooter I've played in years! (SUPERHOT/10)

Mr Massagy (Sep18, PS4)

From the people who made the terribly funny and existential ‘My Name is Mayo’, I present Mr Massagy. It’s a visual novel where you use a Tinder-esque app to find people to date. Successful dates lead to massages. As in, the controller will vibrate very strongly in different ways. It’s actually a great massage! I put it on my dick! Wicked humour and writing, a crazy story and super cheap. I can’t recommend this enough. (Dick-Massage/10)

Snake Pass (Sep18, PS4)

I just could not get on with the controls in this game. I never felt in control and always on the edge of messing up. Maybe that was the intent but it was just frustrating. I stopped playing when I died about 12 times trying to grab a collectible and went ‘this is not fun in the slightest’. Shame. (Unscored)

Battle Chasers: Nightwar (Sep18, PS4)

I was told this game respected your time and I have to disagree. It very much wastes your time. A lot. Excessively long battle animations that cause battles that drag on and tedious movement on the overworld. I think the combat system is awesome and the world surprisingly engrossing. But the dungeons are flat (making them randomised was a terrible idea) and the game hides its short length with a requirement to grind and/or do lots of optional stuff to stay on level with enemies and a huge amount of repeating content. I could see a fantastic sequel but I can only recommend this game on a steep discount at minimum. (5/10)

Road Not Taken (Sep18, PS4)

I actually got this on PS+ near the beginning of the PS4’s lifetime, so it’s been sitting on my hard drive for like 4 years. I was excited to finally play it but …it’s a rougelike puzzle game. Deleted after 1 hour. I do not get on with rougelikes. (Unscored)

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap (Sep18, PS4)

I completed the pyramid part of the game, then dropped it for some reason. I actually quite liked it tbh, not sure why I didn’t finish it. Maybe this year! (Unscored)

Song of the Deep (Sep18, PS4)

Massively disappointed. Insomniac making a small side project should be a slam dunk but this was boring as fuck. Just pottering around in a submarine, doing little of interest or import. And its buggy as shit too, I only played for about 3 hours and it crashed twice. Sad times man. (Unscored)

Goosebumps: The Game (Sep18, PS4)

Straight up, I tried to get through this guide free but after 30 minutes, I caved and used a guide. This game has lots of nostalgia for me as I love the Goosebumps books but goddamn this game sucks donkey ass. Point and Click + Goosebumps should be awesome, not this. (2.5/10)

Lumo (Sep18, PS4)

Another game I played for about an hour then deleted. Ugly, confusing, stiff controls and the camera perspective gave me gas. A stinker. (Unscored)

Yakuza Kiwami (Oct18, PS4)

The Yakuza games are a unique and strange beast. Emotional yet hilarious. One moment you see someone have their pinky cut off in shame. Next you deliver a pizza in the most dramatic fashion possible. Kiwami is no different and I am thankful for this glut of games we now find ourselves in. Shine on Nishikiyama. (9/10)

Battlefield 1 (Oct18, PS4)

The last Battlefield game I played was 3 and I really disliked it. Battlefield 1 is about as sucky. Its story-telling is just a mess, with these cardboard characters I don’t care about going through these under-developed, boring plots (from what I played anyway). I gave up 3 missions in, can’t stomach it. (Unscored)

Destiny 2 (Oct18, PS4)

Same as the last Destiny. Super good shooty bang bang gameplay and some great level design but most everything else is lacking and uninteresting. The story is exceptionally poor. Like, holy shit, it’s literally pointless. Nothing has changed and by the end, you are right where the game started. Give it a go but keep expectations low. I didn’t buy the Forsaken DLC, I value my life too much for that. (6/10)

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Oct18, PS4)

I would say that this was the most disappointing game of the year but frankly, Rise of the Tomb Raider was so fucking awful that I expected shit. And that’s what I got. This game is atrocious. The combat feels worse, has less offensive options and there are barely any fights in the game to begin with. The story is somehow worse; Lara is still unlikeable and shit, Jonas still exists just to tell Lara not to do the bad thing and everyone is so undeveloped and flat. I was disappointed until the very (and highly anti-climactic) end. Shadow is worse than Rise and I deeply wish it wasn’t. Maybe the next reboot trilogy can do better. (2.5/10)

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Nov18, PS4)

You know, RDR2 has issues. Arthur moves like a sack of potatoes, looting is an exercise in patience, missions are no different than what Rockstar have been doing for almost two decades. And yet, when I ride my horse along the trail, that beautiful music at my back, a gorgeous vista below me and all the memories of characters and events past, it doesn’t matter. RDR2 is a triumph of video game storytelling, character development and technical wizardry. It made me thankful to live in a time where stories this detailed, this well written, this fucking emotionally affecting exist. Any other year, this would be my GOTY, easy. (10/10)

Inside (Nov18, PS4)

I wasn’t as enamoured with Limbo as the general gaming populace were. It was very interesting and I did like it but not overly so. But Inside… Wow. I’m not saying anything else because this is definitely something to experience blind. But you need to play this. A masterclass in visual storytelling and organic game design. You will not regret it. (10/10)

Submerged (Nov18, PS4)

Submerged is basically Shadow of the Colossus but with like, no budget or ambition. There’s no danger or threat, just zoom around on your boat and climb buildings to kill colossi get med packs for your brother. A soothing, if ultimately dull and derivative game. (5.5/10)

The Playroom VR (Nov18, PS4)

My first taste of VR. I played the Robot Rescue minigame and I immediately saw what the fuss over VR was. You don’t understand just how damn cool it is to feel like you are in the game. Looking up and down, turning around, it’s so mundane yet engrossing. I got a little motion sick and took a break after 30 minutes but yeah, I can see the appeal of VR. I’m not scoring this as I didn’t try everything but Robot Rescue is awesome. (Unscored)

Astro Bot Rescue Mission (Nov18, PS4)

My first full-fledged VR game. I am dead serious when I say, this is a GOTY contender for me. Astro oozes charm and is so expressive, even the enemies are fun! The levels make the fullest use of VR, asking you to peek around corners and really look everywhere to find secrets. New mechanics are added all the time and built upon, which helps makes levels feel fresh and exciting each time. I haven’t finished the game yet as I plan on binging VR this year and get my ‘VR legs’. But I am going to break my rules and rate Astro Bot; it’s special and already one of the best 3rd person platformers I’ve played. (9.5/10)

Pillar (Nov18, PS4)

I like to support strange indie games, hence my library of full of weird stuff. Most of the time the games work out great. Unfortunately, Pillar is not one of those games. Not a fan of the art style and I only got halfway through one the stories before I got frustrated with the gameplay and called it a day. I might need to research these types of games better before I buy in the future. (Unscored)

Darksiders: Warmastered (Nov18, PS4)

I played the original many years ago, so revisiting it was slightly worrying. Would I like it as much? Has it aged poorly? Thankfully, Darksiders is still a fantastic time. The mix of God of War x Zelda still works great and the story still pulls me along nicely. It’s just so comfortable to play, you know? T’was a joy to revisit. (9/10)

Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition (Dec18, PS4)

My first time playing #Darksiders2. The art style is sick and has aged like wine. Quite like the combat too, a lot more dodge heavy than Darksiders. I felt the pacing was a bit off, it kind of kept going and going. Some really bad quest design too (Get 3 things of 3 things of 3 things, bleh). But it’s still good old Darksiders, still got that charm and learning more about the universe was great. (8.5/10)

Darksiders 3 (Dec18, PS4)

The most disappointing game of 2018. Dark souls-lite ass combat that is so lacking compared to past games. A severe lack of puzzles, just enemy after enemy to slaughter. A crap story that is pure filler besides the end. The only things I liked were a few of the Deadly Sin fights and Fury herself. Her character arc sucks but her distaste for everything speaks to me. A fucking embarrassment and I won’t be buying Darksiders 4 on day 1. Be better Gunfire Games. (3/10)

Lego Movie: The Videogame (Dec18, PS4)

I learned to not play Lego games that are not based on properties I care about. Lego Movie: The Videogame was a bore. I watched the movie afterwards and that was better, though not exactly my favourite of the year. Eh. (4/10)

Yakuza Kiwami 2 (Dec18, PS4)

I feel the new Dragon Engine has its pro’s and con’s. This is my favourite version of Kamurocho; it has never looked better and the ability to go into shops without a loading screen is so nice. Climbing to the rooftops, exploring offices and genuinely getting a little lost, the virtual tourism is at its strongest. However, the combat is much looser and I miss being able to switch stances. But I love the physics on enemies, they can go flying in the funniest ways. The story is as good as the series has always been, especially the ending (though they did kinda pull some eleventh hour shit but eh, I’ll let it pass). Still, I loved my time with it. Now just 4 more games to go! (9/10)

Slyde (Dec18, PS4)

Not gonna lie, I heard you could get the platinum for this game in like 5 minutes and I just had to see that for myself. Turns out, yes, it literally takes 5 minutes to get the platinum. Sony need to introduce some quality control on this shit man. (Platinum/10)

Tacoma (Dec18, PS4)

I liked Gone Home, though I found the stories of the mother and father much more interesting than the angsty teen shit. Thankfully, the stories in Tacoma are all fantastic. You learn of these characters through recording that you can rewind and it’s just genius really. I grew to love these people, which made the ending that much more impactful. And that teaser at the ending, damn you Fullbright! Easy recommendation if you like space dramas. (9/10)

Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut (Dec18, PS4)

A puzzle game that is difficult to explain in words but makes total sense when you play. This was a great way to end the year; I had a lot of fun solving these puzzles and the story is actually really good too. It’s got those ‘ah ha’ moments that make a puzzle game for me. Will definitely be buying the sequel. (8.5/10)

 

6180 the moon

A very minimalist, monochrome puzzle game. You control the game and need to get the sun back. Strange but it’s cheap and fun, though you’ll burn through it in less than an hour, it’s that short and easy. (7/10)

Axiom Verge

I actually tried to play this on the Vita in 2017 but that version is horrendous. The sound would randomly cut out and it crashed, so I said fuck it. Tried the Switch version though and man, this game is awesome. I like how utterly lost I became and I poked and prodded at all these corners trying to find the way forward. Surprisingly effective story too, Metroidvania’s are usually pretty light (and poor) in that regard. Definitely give it a go. (8.5/10)

Bleed

Not a fan. It looks like a flash game and I didn’t much care for the combat. Didn’t click personally. Dropped it after about an hour. Though, it did make me want a John Wick game, so that’s something. (Unscored)

Blaster Master Zero

I did not expect to like this game as much as I did. In fact, when I started it, I didn’t feel it at all. But as I played more, got upgrades, the story and characters picked up, I got engrossed man. By the end, I’d done a 100% run by accident! Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year. (9/10)

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

I much prefer the Castlevania games post ‘Symphony of the Night’ and unfortunately, this is not one of those. It looks great. Nice music. Don’t much care about it beyond that. I beat it and yeah, definitely not my preferred style of Castlevania. I’m still hyped for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night! (5/10)

Broken Age

Broken Age has a fantastic first act. The puzzles are on point, the characters engaging and the world is so interesting to learn about and generally exist in. Helps that the writing is on point too. It’s a little easy and simple but that’s fine. Act 2 though… Oh no. The puzzles abandon logic and go full old school garbage mode. There’s few new areas, you just go through the old ones again mostly. And the ending is pure shit. Like, was that all they could think off? That’s how you end your game? No wonder people shit on Kickstarter games. (6/10)

Bulb Boy

A point and click game with a wonderful creepy/cute art-style. Puzzles are simple and I beat it in an afternoon but then again, I bought it for 89p. Can’t complain too much. (7/10)

Cat Quest

I got addicted to this quite bad haha. You are a Cat Knight thing and you go around this overworld completing quests to level up enough to fight the bosses (who are dragons). Kinda like Diablo by way of Zelda or something. Terribly simplistic and could use some more variety beyond ‘go here and kill stuff’ but I was hooked. Incredibly funny and self aware too. Here’s hoping for a sequel: Dog Quest! (7.5/10)

Crossing Souls

Imagine a game that relies almost completely on 70’s nostalgia. This is that game. I heavily dislike it, complete style over substance. The characters are grating, the platforming straight up is shart and the Switch version is a technical mess. I could barely beat this one boss, the frames and lag were so bad. Style over substance can be done well but that substance needs to be at least serviceable. This isn’t. (3/10)

Dead Cells

Same as Road Not Taken, I don’t like rouge-likes. But the buzz around this game made me want to at least try it. Unfortunately, I learned that I don’t like Procedural Generation either. Such boring levels man, they pale in comparison to Castlevania and Metroid. I don’t get it, why have a million shit levels over one good one? Quantity over quality, for sure. The repetition killed it and I traded this in for a good game very quickly. Thankfully Switch games hold their price (came in handy for Xenoshart Chronicles 2 as well). (Unscored)

Framed Collection

I really enjoy this panel based puzzler. You have a bunch of panels that you need to arrange in the correct order to get characters from one side to the other; the kicker is that you can change panels’ midway through their journey. This bundle has both Framed games and I highly recommend it, fantastic little game. (8.5/10)

Floor Kids

Hip hop rhythm action is a genre I didn’t know I wanted till this game along. It’s funky, fresh and feisty gurl. Chaining moves together while taking into account crowd requests and not messing up your inputs is a frantic time. (8/10)

Forma.8

I’m not sure what this game is really about tbh. I got bored after 2 hours of nothing. Just jumped around, collected some shit I didn’t really care about. I had no investment in anything happening. Meh (Unscored)

Frederic: Resurrection of Music

I saw this during an E-shop sale for 50p. Gave it a punt. It’s crap. (Unscored)

Freedom Planet

I got some really nostalgia vibes from Freedom Planet. It feels like a Genesis era Sonic game (more of that later), from its visuals, gameplay and progression. Really took me back. I wasn’t that big a fan of the story or characters and the voice acting is of very variable quality. But I still had a good old time. (8/10)

Frost

Another game I didn’t bother finishing. A card-based survival game with some fantastic visuals and sound design. However, I kept dying continuously on the easy story mode and could not understand why. After far too much time hitting my head on a wall, I gave up. (Unscored)

Golf Story

I liked this game but some parts did sour it. The humour is spot on with some truly hilarious lines and situations; it’s fun just to talk to people and see what dumb thing they have to say. The golf gameplay is quite good too but there are some usability and QoL things missing, which made some courses much more annoying than they needed to be. It’s kinda poorly paced too, I wanted it to be over a fair bit before it ended. A nice ending though. (7.5/10)

Hollow Knight

Utterly incredible and a contender for best Metroidvania ever. I truly got lost in Deepnest in a way that few videogames have managed to do. Every new area was a joy, an opportunity to use all these fantastic movement options to explore this dark and scary world. I love using the nail to hit enemies downward and gain height, inspired design. And it’s so cheap too! I’d have paid double in a heartbeat. Team Cherry have got my money for the future, no question. (10/10)

KAMIKO

This is the first game I played on the Switch! Great little thing too. Like an old school Zelda but stripped to the bare essentials. I didn’t bother with the different characters or a speedrun but I had a good few hours of fun. A great start for a great console. (7.5/10)

Lost Phone Stories

I remember once, my sister left her unlocked phone on the table while she went off somewhere. Me being the terrible person that I am, I looked at it. A quick look, through Whatsapp and such. This game felt like that, a look into someone’s connections, thoughts, life. Deeply personal, slightly ‘wrong’ feeling but still, exciting. Very well told storytelling about some hot topic modern issues; the revelation got me good. I fully recommend this. (9/10)

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

I’ve never played the X-Com games, find the Mario series bland but fun and think Rabbids are the cause of 90% of the world’s problems. And yet, this game fucking rules man! It’s so much fun to strategize with the various characters and see just what silliness you can get up to. Draw enemies in and let Rabbid Mario go to town, bounce on everyone with Mario or just use OP Luigi to own everything, it’s a damn good time. (9/10)

Night in the Woods

NitW has some exceptional writing. The drunk scene at the campfire is especially candid and relevant. It perfectly captures of ennui of modern existence and the struggle to plan or conceive a future. It’s also fucking hilarious. The gameplay is pretty non-existent but really, you’re here to bathe in Mae’s existential dilemma, not jump on Gooma’s. Recommended for fans of Oxenfree and British nerds called Limomaker. (9.5/10)

Octopath Traveller

Technically I’m still playing this and loving it a lot. There was a bit of a lull when I completed everyone’s first chapter and I think the sub-jobs need to be far better signposted, I completed missed them until I was half done with everyone’s second chapter. But yeah, will provide my full thoughts in the future. (MY BLADE IS UNBENDING/10)

Old Man’s Journey

A very simple and minimal puzzle game, depicting the story of an Old Man who received a letter and departs on a journey. The puzzles are fairly inventive but it’s the visuals and story that took with me. Gorgeous art and learning about the Old Man’s life just makes that ending all the more emotional. I highly enjoyed this game, though I wish the puzzles were more interesting. (8/10)

Picross S

ShadeofLight got me into Picross on the 3DS and now here I am, a full on addict. Goddamn Picross is so good. Picross S doesn’t really do anything new for the series but hey, Picross is Picross. (9/10)

Subsurface Simulator/ Quarantine Circular

Ostensibly conversation simulators, I thoroughly enjoyed my time weaving through the webs of chatter and learning about the world Mike Blithel has created. The games lack real consequence in the same vein as something like Until Dawn or any real complexity to conversation like many other RPG’s. But for world building and creating an engaging narrative and stakes within said narrative, they are fantastic. Cheap too. (8/10)

Robonauts

Another game I got for like 50p in an E-shop sale. It also is shit and I didn’t finish it. I need to stop doing this. (Unscored)

Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut

I have a fondness for puzzle games. They are probably the purest form of game design that there is: here is a problem, here are the tools to solve said problem, go do it. Slayaway Camp is a great puzzle game. Lots of over the top gore and kills to complement some very solid puzzle action. Easy recommendation for the puzzle fanatics. (7.5/10)

Steamworld Dig 2

I enjoyed Steamworld Dig but it didn’t really leave much of an impression. It was a nice little game that I wouldn’t be averse to getting a sequel, I guess. But Steamworld Dig 2 is such an incredible evolution and refinement of what came before. The story is much improved and larger, with a new and very likeable protagonist. The upgrade system is even better with some risk/reward factors. Exploration is utterly exhilarating, drilling deeper and deeper feels claustrophobic and scary (giggity), which makes each fast travel point just as much of a relief as a Dark Souls bonfire. If Hollow Knight didn’t exist, this would be the best Metroidvania of the year. Buy it. (10/10)

Sonic Mania

Oh man, nostalgia boner overdrive. This is the best Sonic game ever. I even like the quasi-3D sections! And that music! All I can say is, if you like classic Sonic, you need to buy this. (10/10)

Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido

I can’t believe this is a first-party Nintendo game. It is complete garbage. Looks like a cheap flash game, awful voice acting and cringe inducing characters. And the gameplay…can’t believe Nintendo okayed this. Its bull crap. Maybe it’s better on the 3DS but on the Switch, moving sushi is a chore and I just got frustrated and gave up. Craptastic poop shit. (Unscored)

Super Mario Osyssey

Odyssey feels like the Mario game I’ve been waiting for a long, long time. The NSMB series sucked for me and while I did enjoy SM3DW, I got bored long before it ended. Odyssey though, I just loved the entire way through. Brimming with charm, platforming perfection, kickass music and just so much shit to see and do. An incredible achievement and I finally found my Mario groove. (10/10)

The Count Lucanor

This was I believe, one of the first indie games I played on Switch. It is not very good. Was intrigued in the beginning but once I got to the castle, I just got bored as hell. 1 hour later, it didn’t improve. Cut my losses and uninstalled. (Unscored)

The End is Nigh

I respect the design of TEiN. It controls very well, the platforming is fair and I quite like the way the levels are part of a big world, rather than just a level select list. But I just did not care to finish it. I think I got to the third area, realised I wasn’t having fun and decided to call it a day. Felt the same about Meat Boy too. A shame. (Unscored)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I could list the many micro problems with BotW. I could also list the big problems that actively hindered the experience. But when I reflect on my time, I think of all the super fun shrines that tested my lateral thinking. I think of how I shit my pants on Eventide Island. I think of struggling up a mountain, to get to the top and see this incredible view. Breath of the Wild is a triumph and I can only hope a sequel improves on the flaws but keeps the magic. (10/10)

The Way Remastered

I bought this for cheap during an E-shop sale and…I thought it was great! Reminiscent of ‘Another World’ in its presentation and story-telling (which was surprisingly emotional actually), I really felt for the protagonist. I thoroughly enjoyed learning of this sci-fi world and there were some pretty good puzzles that had me scratching my head! I think there are some pacing issues and the story could use some work near the end, as it kinda comes out of nowhere. But I can definitely recommend this for point and click/puzzle/pixel art fans. (7.5/10)

Toki Tori

I found Toki Tori highly lacking in charm, which made it hard to care about progressing. The puzzles are actually pretty good, it’s just presented in such a bland way. I just didn’t care to finish it, despite being on the penultimate set of levels. (Unscored)

Toki Tori 2+

I think my experience of Toki Tori bled over into the sequel, which would explain why I bounced off it so quickly. At least the game is presented as more like an open world to puzzle through, rather than a dull list of levels. Perhaps I need to revisit this at some point in the future. (Unscored)

VOEZ

I’m not sure when you are finished with a rhythm game, especially one as massive as VOEZ. But I enjoy the music! It’s definitely not what I listen to usually (same as the ‘Hatsume Miku’ games) yet in the context of a rhythm game, it doesn’t matter. I found reprogramming my mind from the Playstation button layout to the Switch layout a real ballache. Still, it is fun and something I’ll chip away at throughout the year. (8/10)

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

JRPG’s and Japan developed games have been on a bloody roll these last few years. Persona 5, Nier: Automata, Tales of, Souls, etc. Really high quality stuff that has been pushing the bar. Xenoblade Sharticles 2 is one of the worst examples of the genre, an embarrassment to the industry and I really, really hate it. Awful writing, awful characters, a shitty and confused combat system, so much crappy bloat and a horrendous disrespect for a player’s time. This was the first game I ever traded in and it felt so good. Fuck this shit. The only reason it got a 1.5 is because boobs. (1.5/10)

Yoku’s Island Express

I heard some good noise regarding Yoku in the quickposts and saw it on sale on the E-shop. Bought it, gave it a spin and, my God, Yoku is the cutest little bug ever! Such a unique premise too, a Metroidvania/pinball mashup. And it actually worked really well. I felt that backtracking could be a little fiddly but in terms of real time, it wasn’t any longer than other Metroidvanias.  Just had good fun and hopefully a sequel/follow-up can expand on the ideas here. (8.5/10)

2018 In Conclusion

It’s been a standout year for me. I played 32 games which I rated 9/10 or higher and 10 with a score of 10/10. That is a crazy good metric. And I have missed so many games too. Detroit: Become Human, Valkyria Chronicles 4, Celeste, Dragon Quest XI, Ni No Kuni 2, Donut Country, Spyro: Reignited, etc. A ridiculous amount of good shit.

2018 has given me stories I will turn over and over in my mind, soundtracks that have a permanent place on my hard drive and gameplay that made my heart pound. Couldn’t ask for more.

Here is to an incredible 2019. Kingdom Hearts 3 (it's great!), Sekiro, Metro Exodus, DMC 5, Doom: Eternal, Dreams, The Last of Us 2(?). I think it’s gonna be a good one.

- lol ur mum


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About Gajknightone of us since 11:59 AM on 06.24.2013

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