Games I Beat In 2019, But Ranked
I figured I'd revisit this type of list review since I haven't done one in a couple years. This time I've beaten quite a few more games over the year, trying to take an approach where I beat or at least start and play through the games as I get them, and will be ranking them once again in countdown format, so number 1 is at the end. I'll also note what system I played on or downloaded from this time.
- LEGO The Lord of the Rings (Steam)
I played through a Lego game I got for free because it was getting delisted from sale everywhere because licensing is a minefield of lawyers, just because I hadn't played through a Lego game in some time. This is definitely a Lego game and is an okay and fairly easy game overall. It follows about the same conventions as they have been for some time. The difference between when I last played Lego Star Wars Complete and this is that there's a more open hub world connecting everything with sidequests and also more random things to collect. It was a nice way to revisit whatever I remembered of the Lord of the Rings movies before and also to note how Sam could have totally handled a lot of the situation but Frodo was the chosen one.
- Sonic Forces (Switch)
I beat this one on a stream even, on one of the rare occasions I streamed. It was cheap at a store so I decided to pick it up, the bonus version even with extra parts for the Avatar. If they were looking to make a modern Sonic game, they succeeded in doing exactly that, because it has a weird story and generally follows the Generations format, which in turn follows the Unleashed daytime format for modern Sonic, plus a third format that's a lot like that one but focuses on the Avatar, the custom character. The character customization is a selling point, though they're not in all of the levels, and some levels pair them with modern Sonic. Still, I enjoyed messing with the character creator a lot between levels, even deciding to explore all the animal options after beating it, to varied results. Aside from a few specific later levels being weirdly frustrating by throwing in last-minute mechanics, it's an okay game.
- Rumu (Steam)
A game about a cute vacuum robot cleaning up a smart house that inevitably turns into a weirder story of sorts as these kinds of things tend to do. Also strangely buggy, I somehow managed a softlock at some points, but also kept thinking that I needed to do what was actually unintended in that process. Something like just happening to ramp up a ledge with a slipper to skip something I probably wasn't supposed to and thinking that was the intended way, even though it was difficult to keep repeating it. I thought it was a challenge I guess. At another point I managed to break how a ramp or bridge worked because of physics again which required another level reset. Outside of those issues, I was generally enjoying the game.
- Tacoma (Humble)
This one I got for free from a random giveaway. It's Gone Home IN SPACE! Another environmental exploration sort of experience, with checking recordings to solve puzzles and the overall mystery of what happened while being the only person there after the fact. A nice experience for something easy.
- Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (PS4)
The Call of Duty that everyone wasn't sold on and caused the overall series to stop going so far into the future for a little bit (except Black Ops IIII still happened after), I actually enjoyed somewhat. I play these games for the campaign because I like the approach of an action movie. This one mixes things up with dogfight sections in a future spaceship jet thing, as well as low-gravity combat "on foot" where people are just floating around behind cover for whatever reason. It's a lot of ideas that could use some more exploration, but I guess it's not what Call of Duty people are typically into. Plus it has in-between mission parts which is like Mass Effect Light, you can check in on some of the crew or what you've been doing in your quarters, but nothing in-depth like relationships. The plot is pretty simple, though, there's specifically bad guys you fight because you're the good guys, then the ending hits. The reasons for things happening seem to just slip out but there's at least something tying stuff together.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III (PS4)
I played two Call of Duty games this year. Since I got the PS4 recently, I was catching up on ones that weren't appearing in full on last-gen, such as this one only being multiplayer on PS3 as well as Infinite Warfare not existing at all there. This one still seems to have some positive thoughts on it, though, but they generally focus on the multiplayer. The campaign approach this time is apparently to have co-op always be an option, and therefore you also get levels and stuff. However, you also get augmentations, a bit like Advanced Warfare but more customizable in having different powers, though I typically stuck with one "core" through my playthrough, going for damage and chaos to attempt crowd control. The story itself is a lot weirder and involves taking on the typical "bad guys" you fight a bunch of while a deeper plot unfolds, as these Black Ops stories seem to do. In short, it involves things like dreamscapes and death and the afterlife as well as identity, something pretty deep for an FPS of this series. Of course it seems to also borrow stuff from whatever later Deus Ex games borrowed from.
- Donut County (Switch)
A game that's been considered "reverse Katamari" but generally it's a weird game involving raccoons and holes in town that consume everything. It's a puzzle game overall, generally there's some way to get everything in the level, but other things are in the way of it. So, sure, like "reverse Katamari", but not really. It also has that simple cute indie art style games have.
- Titanfall 2 (PS4)
This campaign has been recommended many times and I finally checked it out. Overall, it seems to live up to the hype. I was even considering getting this on PC, but found it on PS4 for even cheaper, and fortunately the control setup is friendly to anyone who's most familiar with modern console FPS in the form of Call of Duty, even allowing switching melee and crouch buttons. Running on a modified Source engine of all things (because it ran well on PS3 for the first game I'm guessing and they stuck with it), it's a pretty solid FPS, on top of a kind of mech game-styled FPS. Plus, each set of levels has a certain gimmick to it, but doesn't overstay its welcome either in each case. There's a specific set of levels that has a gimmick that just happens to share it with another game that came out around the same time, so for whatever reason that was just popular right then. But at least it's a cool idea to explore. On a somewhat related note, I would like to check out the Dishonored games at some point. The movement mechanics are nice and different from typical FPS stuff, but I found it a bit weird to aim at times and didn't fully grasp how verticality worked, but still managed to get through. That mechanic alone made firefights on foot more interesting. However being in the Titan is a slower machine so it's more of a typical approach, but also a nice sensation of power which is what power fantasy games tend to thrive on. Plus I've been a fan of mech games in general, which are scarce recently in the form I like, so I like taking what I get that works. It sort of reminds me of that on-and-off online FPS Hawken which I wish would have worked out better because it had a weird TV robot. Fortunately the Titans are also nice and clunky. I wonder if there's some odd connection between the two games.
- BoxBoy! (3DS)
I started checking out BoxBoy finally after a sale. It is a cute puzzle platformer with more emphasis on puzzles but sometimes there's timing and things involved. I prefer the puzzle-solving over quick timing. Mechanics are added over time to build on things, which is how these things go, overall it's a puzzle game. It also has a strange story, and even a bonus that previews the next game's mechanics which I thought was a cool way to bridge things. Also there are cute costumes that might add powers as well. I found myself going after all the crowns in the levels for the sake of making sure I got everything.
- BoxBoxBoy! (3DS)
The sequel I found to build on things pretty well in terms of the series. For one thing, the game picks up right where the last left off in the story, plus it allows two sets of boxes. I haven't fully cleared this one yet, but I've beaten it. It also adds more things to get in the shop, like comics, which is a good feature that should be recurring. Also more cute costumes.
- Pikuniku (Switch)
On the subject of cute geometric characters, Pikuniku became a big favorite of mine, from the physics involved to the weirdness of the whole situation. A supposed fearsome monster who is an adorable orb with legs (possibly an egg with legs) solves things, sometimes with kicking. Often with kicking. Also strange minigames and tasks to accomplish on the quest to help a good number of the inhabitants. The base game isn't very hard and is mostly forgiving, but there are secret harder levels that I wasn't sure were bonus levels until I'd cleared a couple and realized how much they stood out from the rest of the game.
- The Hex (Steam)
This comes from the same developer as Pony Island, so I expected some bizarre stuff going in. I was not disappointed in that. For one thing, the art style is somewhat consistent outside of the genre shifts and what represents those. For another, it covers more genres than I thought it would. The story has a lot of weird twists and of course gets meta in places. Really so. I don't really want to reveal a lot here, though, but it's worth a look if you like weird games and crazy stories.
- Hypnospace Outlaw (itch.io)
I was interested in a 90s Internet simulator from when it was mentioned. My past experience and rekindled interest in the old Internet as I get tired of things like social media in the present drew me to this. I also have a website which is a bit of a mix of the old and new. Anyway, this game is pretty cool. It only shows a slice of the way things were in this weird alternate universe where brain-computer interfaces managed to work to a major degree, but a lot matches up. Pages have a lot of GIFs and there's background music on most. There's also a lot of scares about technology as there were, including things like viruses, made more concerning due to the brain-computer interface as mentioned. Of course there's also a Pokémon-like franchise that's spread all over the sites. What sold me was that there's even pages about how occult it supposedly is. It could have used another kind of page to really sell it that was the kind I remember seeing, the anti-Pokémon pages that just have MS Paint GIFs of the Pikachu-equivalent being blended in a microwave or whatever with red paintbrush tools filling the image. Maybe that page exists somewhere and I didn't find it. But I did find plenty of weird alternate 90s stuff throughout. The music is also varied in strangeness, but there are some good songs in there. The ending is weird, though lets you continue after, but I did enjoy crawling through this strange web trying to dig out its secrets before looking in the folders it's contained in and trying to figure out how they pulled off the system. It's even possible to build your own pages, too, which just adds a new level of this 90s web aesthetic back together.
Hopefully I can actually get to clearing out a whole lot of games next year again, depending on what I'm doing and ideally not having to go on the run or into hiding and so on.