52 Games. 1 Year. 2023

2. Muv-Luv

, Normal difficulty. Saw all endings, except for the two Normal Ends in Muv-Luv Extra.

If you don't know what Muv-Luv is, after seeing that cover art you'll probably think it's just a cutesy school romcom VN, one of those Japan shits by the ton each year. And you'd be half right. Exactly half, because the first Muv-Luv is composed of Muv-Luv Extra and Muv-Luv Unlimited. Muv-Luv Extra is exactly what you described. Muv-Luv Unlimited is... something else I'm not gonna spoil just in case you're the singular person that likes Visual Novels and hasn't hear of Muv-Luv. Which makes you a fucking weirdo, btw.

Moving on, Muv-Luv Extra is much maligned by most fans, but since I like school romcoms, I dig it. The endings are pretty lackluster, particularly Sumika's, which is weird since she's one of the two main girls, and some of the arcs? drag in for a bit too long (the lacrosse tournament, for example). But Muv-Luv extra is carried by the strength of its characters. Most VNs nowadays have pretty generic characters that have a lot of personality overlap - but Muv-Luv has very distinct characters, with very pronounced "voices". This makes everything bad about Muv-Luv Extra much more tolerable.

But in order to truly appreciate Muv-Luv Extra, you have to understand that it's meant as worldbuilding for Muv-Luv Unlimited. You can play Muv-Luv Unlimited after completing only Sumika and Meiya's routes in Extra, but I feel you'll appreciate Unlimited much more if you take the time to trudge though the other three routes as well. Really, Muv-Luv Extra can be construed as a 30h "intro" to the Muv-Luv universe, which is something that generally only VN fans will accept. And as such, I believe it's time well invested.

SteamDeck: It's a 15 year old Visual Novel.

My Score: ★★★★★

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Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.

Game 5 - Hexcells - PC / Steam - Completed Jan 13th, 2023
Another short game (only took about 4 hours to complete 100%) but an amazing cross between picross and minesweeper. It took me a couple of levels to get the swing of the game's rules, but once I caught on I was pretty hooked. Although I play picross every day, not everything carries over as this game has the twist of every "cell" being hexagonal in shape. I know there are a few more of these games, so I might pick them up eventually (after I give my brain a bit of a rest).


Game 2 - Old Man's Journey (PS4) - 01h 58m
Beat 02/01/2023 - my score: 6/10

Game 3 - Moon Patrol (EC) - 02h 05m
Beat 08/01/2023 - my score: 7/10

Game 4 - R-Type (EC) - 01h 40m
Beat 12/01/2023 - my score: 8/10

Game 5 - Lightning Swords (EC) - 01h 05m
Beat 14/01/2023 - my score: 5/10

Bought Irem Arcade 1 on Evercade last year and playing titles from 80s and 90s.
R-Type is tough as hell, but LS is probably even tougher.
3. Bayonetta 3

18:57h, Normal difficulty. explored quite a lot.

Bayonetta is there with the old God of War games in its own category of games so over the top that they're awesome, what with the giant monster fights, the impossible sexy acrobatics, the wanton destruction and the stylish, er style. Bayonetta 3 takes itself a bit more seriously than the previous 2, but it isn't any less crazy - if anything, I'd say it's even crazier than the preceding games. The amount of shit happening in screen is staggering, full of blink-and-you'll-miss-it references and details. Graphically it's, well, a Switch game, but the FPS are stable and it's never unenjoyable.

I do think Bayo 3 tries to bite a bit more than it can chew. There is a tremendous variety of weapons and abilities, but you're likely to find a couple favourites and use them until the end of the game. Every new level introduces some new mechanic that is generally only going to be used once or twice, some of them a bit overlap-py (Like flying on the bat and on the giant bird). This keeps the game from being samey, but at the same time you feel you're not really "mastering" it since there are tutorials up until almost the final boss. Also, finding all the secrets requires a TON of exploration, some of it even a bit counterintuitive, with lots of backtracking. I don't feel Bayonetta is a good fit for this kind of stuff, but it doesn't really detract from the enjoyment provided by the, again, almost-perfect combat.

Finally, I know some fans hated the story and particularly the ending, but I personally enjoyed it. and I found the reveal that Bayonetta is not the same Bayonetta from the first two games a very clever way of explaining her (very slightly) more subdued, "gloomier" personality and her romantic interest for Luka. The ending was a bit of a kick in the teeth, as I don't believe in downer endings for such an upbeat game, and I strongly believe Genderbent Nero Viola is not a good fit for a new protagonist. But I didn't feel it was out of place since Bayonetta 3 is quite a bit more somber than the preceding games and while I would have preferred the game to end in a more upbeat note, it didn't leave a bitter taste in my mouth like other games do (cough TLOU2 cough).

My Score: ★★★★

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Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.

Game 6 - Pokemon Scarlet - Nintendo Switch - Completed Jan 20th, 2023
I was gonna skip this game originally, considering I saw it had a ton of bugs and the last few Pokemon games (Diamond / Pearl remakes, Arceus) didn't grab me much. My wife asked if I'd get the double pack so we could do raid things together, so I said "sure". I started playing this game and... damn, it's really good. I had a really good time in the open world collecting pokemons and battling gyms. My biggest complaint would be the lack of voice acting, which was very glaring. Otherwise though, this may be my favorite Pokemon game ever. I hope the next Switch hardware can let this type of game live up to it's full potential.
4. Live A Live

, Saw both Bad and "Golden" endings

I'm going to say it: Live a Live is the game Octopath Traveller wishes it could be. Yes, I probably scored Octopath Traveller higher, but that was because I didn't play Live a Live first. Unlike Octopath, where the eight characters were part of the same world (and in some cases, were almost neighbours) here the fact that their stories don't intertwine until the end works, because they're from diferent fucking timelines and it just makes sense. Moreover, unlike the bland main characters from Octopath, here the 8 MCs are well differentiated and capable of carrying a story on their own.

This is not to say all 8 stories are equally strong. Pogo's is some forgettable, though refreshing, slapstick. Oboromaru's is really enjoyable, though light on the storytelling. Shifu's is maybe the blandest, which is surprising for a wuxia-themed plot. Sundown Kid's has the most potential IMO, but it barely lasts half an hour. Masaru's is barely an intermission. Akira's, though much maligned by some, was one of the highlights for me as it felt a bit like Earthbound or other similar "near future" JRPGs, and Cube's was easily the strongest, being a surprisingly tense sci-fi horror. And then comes Oersted's with its "oh shit son" moments; this is when the game stops being just alright and becomes legitimately good.

Considering the new 2.5D graphic style fits the game perfectly and the remastered OST is just so good, I wouldn't pass on Live a Live if you like the genre. Just remember, this is a SNES-era game; if you want to find all the secrets, keep a guide close.

My Score: ★★★★☆

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January Update - Main Post

Solid start to 2023!

1.Metroid: Zero Mission (Wii U) - 9/10
Was on a huge Metroid kick at the end of the year and started off '23 with this banger. What a great remake of the original Metroid along with the additional content at the end. I'll probably hit up Dread soon and then might go back to the Prime trilogy...although I was holding out hope they might hit Switch so I am torn.

2. Injustice 2 (PS4) - 8/10
Took me a bit to get used to the mechanics and was getting my ass kicked quite a few times. Eventually I got the hang of it and ended up finishing both storylines. Didn't love the Superman direction they took but can appreciate they tried something different. Overall, super solid fight with an intriguing story.

3. The Shoot (PS3) - 7/10
Have picked this up a few times and finally decided to finish it outright. The scoring mechanic is a bit tough to get the hang of at first and it locks you out of advancing until you develop a better strategy. It was fun and mostly mindless. The 4th level was definitely tricky to hit the high score necessary to advance to the final level. If you actually still have a PS3 and a Move...it's worth a play!

4. Eversion (Steam Deck) - 7/10
Hoping to knock out a bunch of my random Steam purchases with my Deck. This was a short, odd little platformer. I don't remember where I got it but I am glad I played through it. Had to use a guide to figure out the path to the final level which was fun and unique. I enjoyed my brief time with it and it had a different vibe to it than most platformers that I play.

5. Remember Me (PS3) - 7/10
Another PS3 digital game to clear out. I ended up really enjoying the story and most of the memory puzzle elements in the game. What I did not like was the sluggish combat and how long it took to beat up on simple enemies. They are punch-sponges and take forever to knock out, even with every combo under the sun. This could've been a pretty special game but needed more time to cook. Still glad I gave it a go!

6. Picross DS (DS) - 9/10
Fantastic picross game that I found on eBay. This took a very long time to play through all the levels and bonus rounds but loved every second of it. Some of the later puzzles are hit and miss with their difficulties, but hey that's picross. Highly recommended if you enjoy Picross.

7. Cotton Reboot (Switch) - 6/10
Don't recall why I purchased this game and even more confused after I finished it. It's a super easy shoot-em-up and not much else. I felt nothing after I finished it and don't know if I'll bother playing through with different characters or difficulties. I guess it does what it sets out to do but it didn't do much for me.

8. Virginia (Steam Deck) - 6/10

Essentially a point and click walking simulator game. It was fine and it's possible I missed most of what they were trying to do. It definitely was trying to go for the Twin Peaks vibe and it worked at times but the storyline was hard to follow and I still don't think I "got it". Don't see myself playing this one again.


Game 6 - Root Letter Last Answer (PS4) - 14h 35m
Beat 27/01/2023 - my score: 7/10

Last title on January. Quite good score and start of the year for me.
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Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.

Game 9 - Pictlogica Final Fantasy - Nintendo 3DS - Completed Feb 3rd, 2023
I started playing this last summer - the fact that you get to each section and have to wait a progressively long amount of time really pads this game out. However, this is still my favorite Picross game of all time, thanks in part to the battle system it has. You have to unlock new characters (by solving their picross puzzles) then leveling them up with stars (which you get for completing bonus challenges) to increase their stats and get better equipment. The gameplay loop is pretty cheesy, but it's actually really effective. Unlocked 100% of everything, did all the puzzles, got all the stars.

11 - Metal Slug 2 - PC - Finished playthrough - 80/100
Metal Slug X before some changes were made. It's still awesome and the biggest issue, framerate, was fixed long ago so this game runs as good as X. Even playing them back-to-back the difference isn't immediate which is why I don't count this as a game on its own after putting Metal Slug X on the list.

12 - Metal Slug 3 - PC - Finished playthrough - 80/100
This is the longest of the Metal Slug games which you would think would warrant it being rated higher than the others, but the game isn't as well balanced as earlier games in the series. The pixel art, though still fantastic, tend to rely heavily on assets from previous games being re-used. All the Metal Slug games are great and should be played.

13 - Black Mesa - PC - Finished playthrough - 70/100
I've had the first Half-Life on my to-play list for a very long time. I played Half-Life 2 and its expansions back when the Orange Box was released and I enjoyed it, though I never put it on the same pedestal as most. The game was often clunky and rigid in its movement and the vehicle controls were abysmal. The game is pretty dated, area design ranges from well laid-out to spaghetti mess. Some areas are simply straight lines. Combat is simple as can be and despite the update the visuals are pretty mediocre though not offensively bad. The game did pick up once Gordon was sent to Zen. Compared to the Zen in the original game the version in Black Mesa may as well be a new game entirely and it looks lovely. Unfortunately, the gameplay runs into a few snags once you proceed into the factory and events don't execute as intended often requiring a restart to circumvent the glitches. I'm glad I played it finally, but for me it's not the classic I was hoping to play. I can hop back into the original DOOM and have a blast; this wasn't on that level.

14 - Hi-Fi Rush - PC - Finished playthrough - 85/100
This game came straight out of nowhere and I was half expecting western trash. That went away about a minute in. The visuals are amazing, a great example of cel shading done right. Comparisons to Jet Grind are spot on, but the gameplay is something else entirely. It's DMC meets a rhythm game and playing to the various beats adds both a layer of challenge and a reason to keep popping back in. The music selections are great, the gameplay and area design are top-notch and even the platforming is pretty good. Boss fights were all unique and fun. For a game that was just dumped on Gamepass out of the blue the level of polish here is insane. If I have to complain about something, I'd say the sprinkle of western character design was it. The characters weren't off-putting, but they felt like something from an early 2000's cartoon and not like something from Japan. By the end of the game though I enjoyed them all. Definitely the best new game I've played this year. I hope this style of delivery happens again.

15 - Downwell - PC - Got as far as I'm probably going to get but I'll keep trying - 70/100
You jump down a well and use your gun boots to both halt your fall and kill enemies on the way down. The control is pinpoint precise, and you'll never die in this game from anything but a player skill issue. The graphics merely exist, which is good enough for what this is. The score may make you think the game must not be that great, but it just reflects that this game is a time killer and reflex tuner more than a full-out game. I can see me playing it for a long time here and there. I got it for under a dollar which only makes that 70 look better.

16 - Broforce - PC - Finished playthrough - 80/100
This game is hilarious, you play as parody versions of every action movie character. B.A, Rambo, Terminator, The Bride, Predator, Blade, MIB, Ripley, etc. There are a ton of characters to play as, and they all have their own weapon and ability set. Which ones you use are random, so the gameplay stays fresh for the entire run. The gameplay is razor sharp and everything moves quick. Enemies are smart but not too smart, bosses are all fun and you figure out new ways to use character skills throughout the game. For the price this game is a no-brainer.

17 - Far: Lone Sails - PC - Finished playthrough - 70/100
I played the sequel to this game a couple years ago and completely forgot to go back to the original. You're a kid trying to operate a rolling contraption your father built to cross the dried-up ocean in a post-apocalyptic world. The game uses various platform mechanics to have you fuel up and manage the various systems in the vehicle. For instance, you have to collect objects by leaving the vehicle and carry it back to the device that converts them into fuel. Hitting various switches will pour the fuel into the engine, release steam from the boiler, raise the main mast on the vehicle and operate other modifications you make to the vehicle over time. The second game is much more involved and requires much more in the way of running around outside the vehicle, but it was fun to go back and give this one a try.

18 - Ikaruga - PC - Finished playthrough - 70/100
This is a great top-down shooter, but then again this is Treasure so that's a given. You play as a ship that changes from dark to light on command fighting forces made up of both. When dark, dark enemy attacks power you up and your dark attacks damage light enemies more, the reverse goes for your dark state. It makes for some hectic gameplay as you have to not just keep track of the enemies and their bullets, but also what color everything is. The game's major flaws are that it's really hard, and it's really short.

19 - Hotline Miami - PC - Finished playthrough - 55/100
The doors are absolutely retarded and never work properly. Other than that, this game is simply hiding around corners hitting enemies with a bat or shooting a gun to draw the entire map to you and blasting them as they derp around the corner. The visuals are hard to look at with a lot of grain and a constant waviness that is a bit off-putting. The story going on as you struggle not to get a migraine looking at it is however pretty interesting and is what kept me from abandoning the game. The game itself is about as much fun as the top-down sections in Contra III on the SNES.

20 - Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number- PC - Finished playthrough - 60/100
The doors are still broken and enemies randomly notice you through walls and across the map. Gone is the option to choose your mask perk at every stage, replaced with scenario missions where you're locked to a handicap or ability. Overall, the game plays better, is longer and has a bit more polish to it, but the story isn't nearly as good as in the first game which was unfortunate. These games have a huge fanbase that swear by them but despite my classic game roots, I'm not seeing a lot of appeal in the Hotline Miami games.
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Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.

Game 11 - 12 Labours of Hercules XI: Painted Adventure - PC - Completed Feb 13th, 2023
I really do love these games (obviously, this is the 11th I've played), but this one is probably one of the worst. Maybe not as bad as the one where thieves steal your resources, but close. The first half of the game was fine and actually pretty good, but worlds 4 and 5 really tanked this one. The difficulty level on these was cranked up so high (even to me, playing on "casual") that about half the levels in these worlds I couldn't finish before the timer ran out. Some levels I replayed a dozen times then gave up and went to the next one, which sucked a LOT of the fun out of it. I'll probably wait a while before trying to take on XII.
5. Dragon Quest Treasures

. Mostly rushed through the game.

I bought this one because I love all things Dragon Quest and DQXI is one of my favourite games ever. I also love most Dragon Quest spinoffs, like DQ Builders and DQ Heroes. But DQ Treasures is mid as fuck. Not going to extend myself, but it has a boring gameplay loop, it's easy as fuck yet grindy sometimes, the open world has a very annoying traversal based on your monster's abilities (So sometimes you'll choose your team based on their movement abilities, sacrificing both combat prowess and treasure finding) and the plot is as cliched as it could be. At least the graphics are nice and there is no stuttering or slowdowns.

You can safely sustract a star if you're not a die-hard Dragon Quest fan. If you are, the familiar music, enemies, spells, etc. will carry you through most of the game. If you're not a DQ fan you'll likely be bored out of your skull well before the finish line.

My Score: ★★★

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Game 7 - Battle Chopper (EC) - 04h 51m
Beat 09/02/2023 - my score: 4/10
Game 8 - In the Hunt (EC) - 01h 09m
Beat 11/02/2023 - my score: 8/10
Game 9 - Beyond a Steel Sky (PS5) - 13h 37m
Beat 14/02/2023 - my score: 8/10
Game 10 - Beyond a Steel Sky (PS5) - 04h 32m
Beat 15/02/2023 - my score: 8/10

Finished Irem Arcade 1 on Evercade. Battle Chopper is the worst game in this collection. In the Hunt and R-type are great.
Beat BaSS twice. 2nd for platinum trophy. Good game.


Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Game 12 - Fire Emblem: Engage - Nintendo Switch - Completed Feb 17th, 2023
This game was pretty good, but it slogged on towards the end. There were also FAR too many characters, and FAR too many cut scenes (especially at the end of the game). The strategy gameplay was really good, although dampened somewhat by the time rewind mechanic and how plentiful it was to use. The game also has a huge amount of side quests and things to do to strengthen the bonds between the characters and give them more flavor. Took around 40 hours to complete.


Gold Member
Game 8 - Hogwarts Legacy %100 completion


Poppy and Sebastian side quests are of similar vain to Triss/Yen/Panam/Judy type of CDPR side quests. They're so greatly designed they might as well overshadow the main game's story. I really enjoyed the subplots going on with these two characters more than the main story.

The game is magical. It promised magic and it delivers magic. Everything about HP universe except Quidditch has been integrated into the story and quests in a meaningful way. I really did not expect such a scale of events / things that we come across in our journey in Hogwarts Legacy. And then there is the meticulously crafted Hogwarts castle filled with details, lore and ambiance... Not to mention "cozy" Hogsmeade and its lively streets, shops and bars. And then there are other small towns and vistas they've crafted across the highlands. The world they crafted is a joy to explore. Especially with the added freedom and fun the broom or mounts give you.

There are caveats to the game however, it lacks substantial amount of interactivity within Hogwarts and other students. Mini games and side activities are kept to a minimum. Lore and accurate representation of locations are plentiful but they're mostly hollow.

Main story is not that interesting, and I could see why they kept it short. Its really a game where you just casually visit Hogwarts, instead of actually being a student in it. Story mostly revolves around outside locations or outside dungeons that has nothing to do with Hogwarts. Being an open world RPG, I can see why they went that route but this ended up making Hogwarts a touristic place instead of actual gameplay place.

However, a HP fan couldn've exact for a better replica of Hogwarts. They nailed lighting, textures, ambiance quite extraordinarly and that alone deserves appreciation. I'd say similar amounts of effort went into Hogsmeade and surroundings of Hogwarts as well.
February Update - Main Post

9. Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (Steam Deck) - 7/10
Found this one extremely difficult. I had to knock it down to the easier difficulty to complete it. The final boss still took me a long time to get through. Overall, I get it and I did have fun throughout but some of the gotcha moments are overkill and create frustration.

10. The Last of Us: Part 1 (PS5) - 9/10
Still a great game and the touch up does look nice. Not much else to add. Probably the definitive copy at this point.

11. The Last of Us: Left Behind (PS5) - 8/10
Short but solid side story for Part I. I still have never played Part II and this is my third time through both LoU and LB. Maybe this is the year I finally see what all the fuss is about.

12. Quell (Switch) - 7/10
Short little puzzle game. The later levels require a bit of trial and error but I never was stuck for too long. Usually on sale for pretty cheap and worth a pickup if you're into puzzles.

13. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) - 9/10
Just oozing with charm. I started and stopped on the Wii U and I think it was due to me thinking this was a normal open level Mario game. Coming back around to it, I love the level design and the later difficulty jumps. Wish we could get another evolution of this idea.

14. Yoshi's New Island (3DS) - 7/10
Annoying music aside, this was a pretty fun game. Barely any difficulty outside of getting all the starts, coins and flowers in a stage. I think I ended the game with 100 lives.

15. Evoland (Steam Deck) - 7/10
I love the idea of this game and I did have fun...but it just kind of starts and stops. I have heard Ecoland II is much better take on their idea and I'll probably jump on that later this year. I would love to jump between the different ages more frequently.

16. A Short Hike (Steam Deck) - 8/10
This one I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would. Just roaming around the island and climbing to the top was enjoyable Collecting the feathers and flying everywhere was even better. Maybe that could make A Longer Hike?

17. Dead Space (PS5) - 9/10
Still a fantastic game. Loved 90% of my time in this one. I still hate some of the arena segments with ambush of never ending necromorphs. I also found the time you have to kill the tentacle as it grabs you at various times was a bit tight. I had to actually purchase ammo to make sure I could take it down quick enough in the time they gave me. Really looking forward to Dead Space 2 remake which was my favorite of the series!

18. Digger T. Rock - Rare Replay (Xbox Series X) - 4/10
Awful. I love old school NES games. I remember seeing this in a box as a kid and never played it. Was going to knock out some Rare Replay games and started with this and I regret it completely. Not fun, ridiculous difficulty and confusing path to the end. Definitely use the Rare Replay provided cheats on this one!
6. Metroid Prime Remastered

13:15h. 59% of the game completed.

The feeling of a game being very "premeditated" is not necessarily good in gaming, as it tends to be synonymous with "boring" or "cold" or "artificial" or heaven forbid, "another one of those cookie-cutter AAA games".

Metroid Prime Remastered is an extremely premeditated game, and it's all the better for it. It doesn't feel boring, cold or artificial (well it does feel artificial at times, but intentionally so; you're a 2m space marine bounty hunter lady in a robot suit surrounded by sometimes-robot things in a "dead" planet). Everything in the game is made with the utmost care; from Samus strained breathing moving your camera ever so slightly and making you wonder if you finally fell to joycon drift, from the jumpscare when you first see her face's reflection after firing a missile a bit too close, there's not a polygon out of place, nothing is off, nothing seems amiss. There's no unnecessary cutscenes, no filler, no Marvel-style quips, no pretentiousness. It's you and Samus, silently cutting a path through this alien, hostile world.

Even though Metroid Prime might be a tad dated by now, even if some things like the clunky grappling hook mechanics and visor swapping can make you frown at times, even if the bosses are on the easy side, even though the backtracking can get a bit cumbersome sometimes... it's the closest a FPS metroidvania can get to perfection.

My Score: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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1. Returnal (PS5) - 30 Hours - 1/1/23 - 3/5

My buddy picked this up over the holidays and we've been going over it co-op. You can definitely tell that the co-op mode was shoehorned in given some of the quirks (particularly around tethering loads). I got disconnected before the last boss last night and he beat the game. He wanted to go for the true ending so I helped him collect all the Sunface Fragments. We collected all of those and beat the game today but for some reason he couldn't enter the car.

2. Returnal (PS5) - 30 Hours - 1/1/23 - 3/5

Since I haven't seen the true ending, I went ahead and beat the game again today and will collect all the Sunface Fragments and try for myself.

5. Returnal (PS5) - 3 Hours - 1/3/23 - 3/5

True ending reached.
bicycle cheat GIF


Gold Member
Game #9 Atomic Heart - 87/100

This game caught me by surprise. I had no expectations yet this game delivered.

Combat/gameplay is top notch. Guns are fun to use, and game ends before things start to feel repetetive. You get different guns that calls for different play styles, and on top of that, each gun has dedicated upgrades that changes or adds functionality which makes it even more fun. Enemy interactions are fun, they usually take damage/get damaged realistically..

Story and setting were more than good enough to captivate me through the end. Setting is actually rather spectacular, and story has multiple plot twists that hit you back to back. I was interested all the time. World is crafted with a lot of detail and lore and you can read all about it in in-game terminals.

Open world is there, but it is not tedious as most open world games are. It is a condensed world that just acts as a tool to progress the story. You enter "hubs" called training grounds for weapon upgrades and additional loot, and these locations boast different challenges, platforming puzzles and so on. You do not need to do all of them; game specifically tells you what upgrades you will find in specific training grounds, which is a welcome feature. This way you can focus on the upgrades for the weapons you desire and ignore others. However game was so captivating that I ended up completing most of the training grounds, it simply was fun.

Well story is a bit cliche, and dialogue can get cringey at times (not all times! sometimes it gets very philosophical and makes you stop and think about stuff).
Sometimes there are too much dialogue to a point it overlaps with stuff.
Quest design is a bit archaic, mostly they're fetch/go grab type of quests. However overall gameplay loop and story makes it bareable.

Game #11 Wo Long Fallen Dynasty - 82/100

+ Stamina mechanic is masterfully done and makes the combat very dynamic and fun.
+ Art style is peculiar, making up for the lack of graphical quality
+ Animations and flow of parry/counter/dodge are perfect
+ RPG aspects of the game is actually cool, the game does not make you commit to a certain build, you can respec as much as you want, you can also invest in Wizardry spells without sacrificing on other things
+ Weapon/armor upgrade system is well done, you can salvage looted armors and weapons to get upgrade materials as well
+ Embedding is pretty cheap, being able to get supplies from battle flags is also helpful
+ Wizardry spells are meaningful but not super OP. You still need stamina to cast them, which means you have to actively attack the enemy at the same time. It encourages a mixed combat where you parry, use martial arts, attack and use your spells at the same time.

- Enemy variety is shallow
- Morale system is masterfully done, encourages you to explore the map, however caveat here is the lack of enemy variety which makes the morale grinding a bore, which ends up making the morale system also a bore
- Most bosses are not memorable and unique and a certain pattern of "oh, your friend is now your enemy because of this evil demonic arrow" is used TOO much
- Story is too convoluted/uninteresting. Also, a certain pattern of "oh, you were looking for the Elixir but someone stole it and run away" is used TOO much

Overall a fun but forgettable game.
7. Hi-Fi RUSH

9:42h. No postgame. Final ranking "A".

Hi-Fi RUSH (don't expect me to respect the random capitalization for much longer) is a surprise hit, and what a hit it is. Bangin' music, super likeable characters, a very arcade-y anime-y feel that most games nowadays lack, and a MC that experiences some actual growth without needing three sequels and two DLCs. While HFR uses rhythm as both a gameplay mechanic and a worldbuilding tool, Hi-Fi Rush is an action beat-em-up/platformer-ish at its core, and even if you're not musically gifted progressing though the game is easy enough, only with lower scores. I used to get Ss in both score and speed, but Cs and Bs in rhythm, which apparently averages to As. So yeah, you can get good results even if you have the musical sense of a log.

There's apparently some substantial postgame, but as much as I enjoyed the game, I decided to skip it because it makes you backtrack and hunt for some hidden doors, and this is something I very much not enjoy unless your game is called Metroid. So given the ending is nice and satisfactory I've decided to call it a day. AAA would play again.

My Score: ★★★★★

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8. Atomic Heart

15h-ish?. Peaceful Atom difficulty in the open world, Local Failure in the "dungeons".

This game has been done dirty by reviews. Atomic Heart is a fucking great game, and most people that try to dispute this due to politics or the campy writing have simply not played enough.

To begin with, the setting is *chef's kiss*. Really, it's been a while (Since Bioshock Infinite?) that a setting grabbed me so tight from so early. This shiny sovietpunk is one of the most memorable aesthetics I've ever seen in a videogame, and even without the (admittedly promised) raytracing, everything looks and sounds fascinating. I'm not generally an explorer in games, but I've found myself constantly stopping to investigate stuff, read signs, watch cartoons on TV or even take a closer look at dead enemies. Yes, I'm biased, as I love dystopian stories and "what if" historical scenarios, but I firmly think the setting is a triumph of the designers.

HOWEVER... gameplay-wise, there's two very different sides to Atomic Heart. One, the "dungeons", which are fantastic. Particularly at the beginning of the game, where your offensive capabilities are scarce, Atomic Heart plays more like a survival horror than an action FPS. You have to economize ammo, use your powers wisely, switch to melée constantly and don't hesitate to run away. You'll still likely die, but that's OK, safe rooms are plenty and so are autosaves. Every dungeon looks and feels awesome (My favourite is probably the VDNH). The gunplay is great and while there are not a lot of powers, they synergize well and it's very fun to cover a bot in conductive goo, zap it, freeze another, smash it to bits, etc. And the way you loot stuff is the best I've ever seen and should be the standard in gaming, period.

Then you get the open world. The open world is, to put it gently, annoying. Simply because of this: there are cameras that spawn infinite enemies. You can break the cameras, but doing so spawns infinite flying robots that repair them. So you are never "safe" - you must either sneak around (and the stealth mechanics aren't particularly good) or run like hell from dungeon to dungeon. There are optional areas with weapon upgrades, but honestly, the open world is so annoying that I simply ignored them. Lowering the difficulty to easy mode in the open world makes the experience 1000x better, but it's still something I'd rather not go through again.

And it's a pity, because I liked Atomic Heart quite a bit. The plot is pulpy, yes, and it's somewhat horny at times (though not as much as the memes would make you believe). Most of the plot "faults" and the campy dialogue are actually explained in-game if you pay attention (P-3's weird penchant for cursing, for example). And as per the political stuff, I'd say the game is as pro-communist as Bioshock Infinite is pro-Tea Party.

It would easily be a 5 star game if it wasn't for the weak, annoying (there's that word again) open world. If you have GamePass, give it a try - you'll find a much better game than you think.

My Score: ★★★

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Games: 1-5

1. Super Mario Land - Game Boy⠀|⠀04. Jan - 1 hour⠀|⠀98 - Masterpiece
⠀⠀-finished the game once
⠀⠀⠀⠀My 10th favorite game of all time. I play it every now and then if I feel like it. It is a masterpiece for me personally, because I got tons of
⠀⠀⠀⠀positive memories attached to this game. I purchased it first back in 1991/1992 with a GameBoy. I love this game so much.

2. Batman - The Video Game - Game Boy⠀|⠀06. Jan - 2 hours⠀|⠀68 - Good
⠀⠀-finished the game once
⠀⠀⠀⠀I had not touched this game in 3 decades, wanted to give it a go. I enjoyed playing all the levels the game offers once again, but I have to say
⠀⠀⠀⠀that it would have been better off if I had not touched it and kept it as an amazing title in my mind. I unfortunately had to realise that even for
⠀⠀⠀⠀the early 1990`s standards this game was not as good as I thought it was. I still enjoyed my playthrough, it was most likely the last time I
⠀⠀⠀⠀played it.

3. Vampire Survivors - PC⠀|⠀14. Jan - 40 hours⠀|⠀85 - Amazing
⠀⠀-got 100% achievement on Steam
⠀⠀⠀⠀I heard about this game many many times, but watching streams and screenshots of it actually discouraged me from playing for some reason. So I
⠀⠀⠀⠀finally gave in and wanted to see what all the hype was about. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. I don't remember the last time I
⠀⠀⠀⠀wanted to witness every single detail a game has to offer this badly. Don't judge a book by its cover. I enthusiastically suggest to anyone who's
⠀⠀⠀⠀into rogue-lites to give this game a fair shot.

4. Final Fantasy 7 Remake - PS5⠀|⠀19. Jan - 90 hours⠀|⠀88 - Amazing
⠀⠀-got plat trophy on PS
⠀⠀⠀⠀I should've finished playing this title ages ago. I have kept procrastinating for a while now... As a huge, huge Final Fantasy fan, I was
⠀⠀⠀⠀unfortunately disappointed beyond compare when I played Final Fantasy 15. The weird feeling during combat, the empty world, the
⠀⠀⠀⠀rushed ending, the weird implementation of DLC content into the game and the fact that cities feel way more empty than the already
⠀⠀⠀⠀empty open world worried me. I thought that was the direction FF was going. I gotta admit that FF7 Remake left me longing for more.
⠀⠀⠀⠀I am very hyped for FF7 rebirth now and cant wait to play it. FF7 Remake is not the best FF title for me personally. It is not even close to
⠀⠀⠀⠀it, but it is a solid game and a must play for every FF fan in my humble opinion.

5. Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade: EPISODE INTERmission - PS5⠀|⠀21. Jan - 16 hours⠀|⠀83 - Great
⠀⠀-got plat trophy on PS
⠀⠀⠀⠀I am glad to have played this DLC. It uses the same assets of the original game but has enough of a unique touch and twist to it to call it a
⠀⠀⠀⠀justified addition to an already amazing title. The ending of the DLC is my favorite part. The touching story brought tears to my eyes. I
⠀⠀⠀⠀love this DLC for what it is and what it is trying to achieve, but the main game is still a notch better.
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Fumbled it last year and only ended up with 33.

May as well try it again:

1. Outriders: Worldslayer | Xbox | 1/1/23
2. Marvel Midnight Suns | Xbox | 2/18/23
3. Atomic Heart | Xbox | 3/2/23
4. Virtue's Last Reward | Xbox | 3/8/23
Game 1 - Dangaronpa 2 (Switch) - 33 hours
Beat 01/03/2023 - my score: 7.0/10

Game 2 - Dangaronpa 3 (Switch) - 48 hours
Beat 01/09/2023 - my score: 5.0/10

Game 3 - Legend of Dragoon (Vita) - 58 hours
Beat 1/31/2023 - my score: 9.5/10

Game 4 - Tales of Arise (Steam) -
34 hours
Beat 02/11/2023 - my score: 6.0/10

Game 5 – Resident Evil 2 Remake (Steam) - 09:54 hours
Beat 02/19/2023 - my score: 9.0/10

Game 6 – Resident Evil 3 Remake (Steam) - 05:58 hours
Beat 02/19/2023 - my score: 9.5/10

Game 7 - Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion (Switch) - 17:18 hours
Beat 02/23/2023 - my score: 9.0/10

Game 8 - Legend of Mana(Switch) - 32:28 hours
Beat 03/12/2023 - my score: 9.5/10

Game 9 - Trails To Azure(Switch) - 43:09 hours
Beat 03/19/2023 - my score: 9.5/10


Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.

Game 17 - Hi-Fi Rush - PC / Game Pass - Completed Mar 23rd, 2023
This game is really something special. First of all, amazing music from start to finish. The Black Keys, Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails, and a really solid original score. Secondly, the characters were simply some of the best in any game I've played in a VERY long time. While on the surface they seem to have the depth of a Saturday morning cartoon (and look like one too!), they all end up being incredibly complex and have clear motivation and amazing writing. The rhythm gameplay threw me off a few times, but that's a pretty minor misstep to what will surely become a modern instant classic.
9. Hogwarts Legacy

41h-ish. Normal difficulty, 74% of the game completed.

As a person who sort-of-likes Harry Potter (I wouldn't say I'm a fan, but I don't dislike it either) I think Hogwarts Legacy has all the ingredients to be something truly special. Every aspect of the game has been developed with care - yes, it may be an ubisoft-style icon catcher, but rarely those games have such rich a setting, particularly Hogwarts itself, which is simply a delight to traverse. Every nook and every cranny has some sort of secret waiting for the player, and unlike most mapfucking games, it very rarely feels like "filler" gameplay. It's true that some activities repeat, and of course, some of them aren't perfect - but simply having an excuse to explore such a delicately crafted version of Hogwarts is enough. The facts that the graphics are pretty good (And now that most of the technical issues have been ironed, even better) and the music fits the Harry Potter theme perfectly also helps quite a bit.

Outside Hogwarts, things are much more "familiar territory" Outdoor activities are... fun, but samey. What's worse, after you've completed a certain number of them you stop receiving rewards. While you're still receiving rewards, the completionist's drive keeps you going, but after the Guide says "Challenge Complete", all motivation to hunt for those elusive landing pads or Merlin's Trials (who don't appear in the map unless you're close) goes out of the window. This is not bad per se - some people are exploration-oriented, some are challenge-oriented, some are completion-oriented and others are reward-oriented. It's good that you have lots of stuff to do if you feel like doing it.

As per the mandatory stuff and the sidequests, I wasn't expecting much, but really, that's one of the places where Hogwarts Legacy really shines. Most of the characters questlines are well-written and actually quite dark - some of them wouldn't be out of place in The Witcher. The NPCs actually are quite memorable and you end up caring for them. Poppy my beloved. The combat system is easy to learn and hard to master and while the fights aren't hard (I don't remember being killed by a boss in the whole game) they're challenging enough for you to need to pay attention... at least, until you manage to figure the broken combos that make everything trivial.

What would make this game a GOAT would be... some more actual choice. Yes, I'm aware that lots of games give you the illusion of choice instead of actual choices, but in Hogwarts Legacy it's pretty blagrant. Nothing you do changes the course of the plot at all - even the "Bad Ending", which marks the birth of a fucking Dark Wizard like the world has never seen, much more powerful than Voldemort or Grindenwald or both put together my god is pretty much brushed aside right afterwards. Casting Unforgivables pretty much only warrants an evil look and a snide comment from whoever is around instead of, you know, a life sentence in the worst prison in the world with soul-sucking undead jailers like in canon. You build bonds-for-life with greatly developed companions from the four three houses, and you can't even take them with you in your adventures.

This game needed some more time in the oven. A karma system with real, lasting consequences and weighty decisions, a companion system, actual restricted areas at night (not only for the Moon sidequest) a romance system (I'm aware the characters are 15, but have you never been in a high school before?) and this could have been a game for the ages. As it is, it's a great game, one of the best of the year, but it's lacking that "zing" GOATs have.

SteamDeck: With some tweaking and FSR, steady 40fps is achievable. However, the game will look rough. It's still more than perfectly playable though - this little machine still manages to surprise me after a year.

My Score: ★★★

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