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Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
You usually can't scan the things that are actually interesting (insects running across the ground, alien flora, suspicious runes).

Updated about 6 days ago

Baba is You
Getting back to this soon...

Updated about 6 days ago

Kirby Star Allies
A Kirby game that tries very hard to be like Kirby Super Star but doesn't really understand why that game worked. Co-op is expanded to 4P, but...

Updated about 2 weeks ago

☆☆☆★★ ...levels don't scale well for it and the action feels messy with all the overlapping characters and effects, exacerbated by a framerate that runs lower than the animations appear designed for. And if you play solo you still need to enlist CPU's to pass gates and awkward puzzle rooms. KSS's brilliant structural variety and pacing aren't really there, the level design feeling featureless (why is Jambastion so bland when it should be so cool?) putting this in the lower half of the series.
Sonic Mania
[Replay] All emeralds in Encore in 1 playthrough, I think that counts as Complete. On the surface, Mania may have a greatest hits/romhack feel, but...

Updated about 2 weeks ago

★★★★★ ...far from feeling like a misguided fan game, the devs had deep insight at what makes Sonic work and moved it forward w/ the strongest physics in the series if not *genre* (the drop dash is now my favorite Sonic move) and astonishing, stupefying level design that emphasizes playfulness in exploring the physics & superb new concepts (the new special stage - wow) and refined pacing & editing in the revisited zones. Playing this game still feels like playing a platformer from the future.
Rain World
Umm centipedes.

Updated about 2 weeks ago

Fortunately there's a way to estimate time between rainstorms (aside from hearing thunder in the distance, by then it is often too late).

SPG's Status

(U) Unfinished ?No significant accomplishments.     (B) Beaten ?The main objective has been accomplished. Usually marked by the defeat of a final boss and/or viewing of credits.     (C) Completed ?For games which are 100% done. All extras and modes have been unlocked and finished. All significant items have been collected.
93 (U)
  14 Unplayed  
15.1% of Unfinished
2.6% of Total
372 (B)
81 (C)
Wishlist  0 ?         Top-Rated  31 ?????         Master Runs  0 (M)
PC Downloads 28 (U) 57 (B) 14 (C) 128 Total
PC 3 (U) 12 (B) 0 (C) 29 Total
Nintendo Switch 1 (U) 5 (B) 0 (C) 6 Total
PlayStation 4 11 (U) 21 (B) 3 (C) 44 Total
Wii U 3 (U) 6 (B) 0 (C) 13 Total
Nintendo 3DS 5 (U) 7 (B) 0 (C) 14 Total
Wii 3 (U) 15 (B) 3 (C) 24 Total
Xbox 360 6 (U) 32 (B) 4 (C) 51 Total
PlayStation Portable 2 (U) 8 (B) 0 (C) 15 Total
Nintendo DS 1 (U) 11 (B) 2 (C) 22 Total
Xbox BEAT 5 (B) 1 (C) 6 Total
GameCube 1 (U) 20 (B) 5 (C) 37 Total
Game Boy Advance 1 (U) 12 (B) 2 (C) 20 Total
PlayStation 2 14 (U) 19 (B) 6 (C) 49 Total
Dreamcast BEAT 5 (B) 0 (C) 10 Total
Nintendo 64 BEAT 17 (B) 11 (C) 29 Total
PlayStation BEAT 10 (B) 1 (C) 22 Total
Saturn 1 (U) 8 (B) 1 (C) 16 Total
TurboDuo BEAT 1 (B) 0 (C) 1 Total
SNES 7 (U) 32 (B) 3 (C) 52 Total
Game Boy/Color 3 (U) 7 (B) 1 (C) 15 Total
Genesis / Mega Drive 1 (U) 27 (B) 9 (C) 41 Total
NES 1 (U) 18 (B) 11 (C) 39 Total
Commodore 64 BEAT 1 (B) 0 (C) 1 Total
Arcade 1 (U) 16 (B) 4 (C) 24 Total
All Games 708 Total
?Use this field to quickly search your backlog. If you enter in a single letter, you'll get a list of all the games you own that start with that letter.
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about 6 days ago

Minion of Bak'laag: 100+ unfinished games
Consider Yourself a Hero: Majority of games are beaten
I had forgotten that Prime 2 doesn't make you use your abilities before you lose them. Echoes is rather... tell heavy, yet if I recall correctly I missed one of the more important lore bits for a while and hence ended up with a much more... let's say interesting impression of the world's history. I know, me miss something in a Nintendo game, what're the odds?

Fun fact: I had no idea what those tokens did until you mentioned they had no reward and I looked it up. I would say 90% of my issues with the game are down to personal taste, but I think I'd comfortably put the token/blue sphere deal in the other 10. Also my average act time was probably around six minutes, so picture each act relatively being about 50% longer for me.

Mania ended up being a game I appreciated more than I enjoyed. Well that's not fair, I enjoyed it but I did not love it. I never developed a deep understanding for the Sonic games as they were things I'd just play at a friends every so often (and mostly the first two) so what I get out of them is admittedly rather surface level. Mania on the surface level is very much designed as well as the earlier ones as far as I can tell! I do like the "threaded" approach to level design where if you fall off one thread through an act you generally just continue on another one but I treat it overall rather like a ride, and as a ride it is a bit too long. You could probably write a ton about bits of level design and how it is crafted to reward conservation of momentum and such, sadly for me it is mostly a lot of loop de loops and while they are fun I'd have probably cut each act down by 33%. Which would have brought my average act time down to... about 4 minutes.

So yeah it is mostly my fault

My biggest enemy was getting squished between two moving platforms >_>

Tropical Freeze in July/August sounds fine! Granted something could come up or I'll randomly start a 60 hour game the week before, but we'll ignore that for now.

Random note: as of this point the enemies in Knack hit so much harder than the enemies in God of War (they are both 3d action/brawlers) that it is disconcerting. Bigger tutorial enemies do more damage per hit than the valkyries and they aren't presented as anything but a normal enemy type. Perhaps this cartoony looking thing will be the Dark Souls of this genre
about 2 weeks ago (edited)

Minion of Bak'laag: 100+ unfinished games
Poisoned: 3+ new games in a row
Guacamelee might deserve an award for "overstaying its welcome."

Once there were portals, the whole thing jumped the shark.

It is such a product of its time, and has not aged impressively. My guess is the hype was because of the art direction, which is the best part of the game. There isn't anything that looks like it.

Guac feels older than its short six-year lifespan. It's a living testament to how drastically the small publisher landscape has change in such a short time.

about 2 weeks ago

Minion of Bak'laag: 100+ unfinished games
Consider Yourself a Hero: Majority of games are beaten
So yeah Guacamelee was just kinda the fine, a bit above average game you more or less hinted it was, which is alright yet leaves me questioning how it had such hype behind it. Another mystery of the world I guess.

"I found the way Samus lost her abilities to be incomprehensible"

Clearly you've never been mugged before

(Legit I see no other way to read that event, which while odd is probably the most "as it'd work in real life" implementation of that particular trope I can recall. As to whether that is a good thing I leave to the player.)

BTW since you've clearly played enough Sonic Mania to feel comfortable ing it, the stages are a lot bigger than they were in the original games, right? This may be a result of my experience being more with 1 and 2 than 3 and K, but my internal clock through the first three zones is constantly expecting the individual acts to end much sooner than they actually do.
about 4 weeks ago (edited)

Minion of Bak'laag: 100+ unfinished games
Consider Yourself a Hero: Majority of games are beaten
"Metroid Prime 2: Echoes In the queue to play alongside some online friends next month."


...I mean, good luck with that >_>

If you are feeling ambitious you can try and keep track of how many different lock and keys the game has, I no longer remember the exact number but it made me scream. You do get the best "why does Samus no longer have all her old equipment?" justification though.

EDIT: Flavorless at this point seems a tad harsh for a game that has a dedicated "transform into a chicken" button, but I get what you're saying. It isn't bad but also isn't blowing me away, sometimes I need a 2d game with running and jumping in my life and this one seems to be about the right length and type for my current mood and upcoming schedule. Hopefully the boss battles aren't as bad as I've been warned.

It is odd, I am with you with the whole "Metroid needs to be a bit oppressive at times" deal (I reserve the right for games inspired by it to not be, if they know what they are doing) but while Echoes probably grasped that better than the other 3d entries the way certain other elements in the game dealt with it was... mechanically problematic. I don't want to get into it too much right before you play the game but there is a pretty evident push and pull within the game tied to world hostility that I wasn't the biggest fan of.

Rain World always looked interesting to me because... well its looks are interesting, but I'm not a fan of randomized world design in the best of cases. Add in what appears to be additional random harshness on top of it and it is probably a bit too hardcore for me, sadly.
about 2 months ago (edited)

Minion of Bak'laag: 100+ unfinished games
Consider Yourself a Hero: Majority of games are beaten
I got a couple Sekiro questions for you, although it might be a bit early for at least one of them.

-Does the aesthetic of the game ever get any less... Sengoku I guess? As noted previously my biggest turn off with the game from afar was the setting it went with and the main reason a new From action game dropped from "day one purchase" to "get to eventually".

-If there was one thing I never got that great at across all the various Souls games it is parrying, and this game seems to be much more focused on that than any of those were. Oddly enough I think the only game I was ever consistently good at parrying in was God of War, but that had a very generous window and an item to make it bigger. Anyways... kinda curious how parry dependent the game actually is.

Also congrats on beating Baba is You, although it seems that you aren't quite finished. Roughly how big/long is the game anyways?

EDIT: "So I think my progress has come to a stop until I can confront one of my phobias and... make my way through this section."

No one told me there were clowns in Sekiro

Also, as many issues as Steins-semicolon-Gate has, it must still be pointed out that I could stand 30 hours of it versus cracking after a half hour or so of Killer 7. How dare you risk wishing a longer version of it into the world >_>
about 3 months ago

Minion of Bak'laag: 100+ unfinished games
Consider Yourself a Hero: Majority of games are beaten
I didn't mind the last battle in GoW that much in part due to... if you are gonna use violence like that doing so in a big climactic moment which will likely reverberate throughout the rest of the series as a big turning point is probably the right time to do so, but obviously everyone's tolerance for things like that is gonna be different. I also think you are correct that even accounting for the valkyries and realm tears the game balance is just off down the stretch in terms of being too easy, I just happened to get a bit lucky in terms of the coming across those spikes at fortunate times. Also if you bounced off the valkyries don't feel any need to have to get back to them, in truth they are mostly minor variants of each other so you've probably seen enough to "get" them by now.

I liked the final boss in Iconoclasts as a nice narrative curveball! I felt a bit let down by Royal but in a way that was probably intended, a bit shocked they were considered weak points. That cube boss battle was the one I was gonna mention as being confusing. If I am thinking about the right water base boss it went down pretty quickly. The stealth boss on normal actually has a text box come up during its final "stage" that hints at what does and does not work and I wonder if it was dropped in hard mode.

TIS-100 was fine but skippable. I am still annoyed that I ended up skipping that one puzzle in it, but it was probably the right mental health move. Opus Magnum does look like the best of the other Zach games, but since I own Infinifactory I'll likely get to that one next in 2022 or so >_>

PS4 Ratchet & Clank feels like it is missing... something the earlier games had, but I honestly can't put my finger on what. At their best they were never great, but they were better. If you ever want to play this one again, the rule of thumb is that the game is bad at highlighting grapple/"swing" points and pipes you can grab and climb up. I believe that train has both of those!

Congrats on Baba is You finally coming out! I am almost certain you'll get to it before me, so I hope that it delivers. Also you wasted no time in getting to Nightshade, I'm curious if it'll at some point develop into something more than what Shinobi offered.
about 4 months ago

Minion of Bak'laag: 100+ unfinished games
Consider Yourself a Hero: Majority of games are beaten
Congrats on finishing up God of War!

I don't think my thoughts changed enough to require a big write-up, but to summarize:

-I think the axe-based combat is the best the series has had by a solid margin and is rather strong overall. I don't have any "game feel" qualms with the blades, but I think in terms of how wide an area they hit and how much they can swamp an enemy they are a bit overpowered when not against a single boss-type enemy. I'd have saved them for the final run somehow and if they re-appear I hope they are somehow depowered a bit.

-The story I thought worked out well enough in a big picture sense in that they hit the beats they needed to. It struggled a good bit when looking in closer at individual moments as things often seemed to come up or be discarded rather quickly (Atreus's mood change being the biggest offender). They also... let's say sanded off the rough edges of Kratos's history, so the parts regarding his past probably worked out better for you (his big regret being the whole Zeus thing borders on invention). I am impressed by how much they set up and left untouched for a future game.

-Between the valkyries, realm tears and two bonus realms I ended up sprinkling in enough challenges at the right moments to almost create my own solid pace/difficulty curve but am unsure if it was just a happy accident or if they actually set things up that way. Leaning towards the former.

-I think the single take thing made the game feel less epic (and likely contributed to some story issues), but overall it was presented strongly. The absurd violence was toned down and was markedly less frequent which is probably the best the series will manage (GoW 2 and 3 had some downright gruesome occurrences). I probably liked what was here a bit better than you did, but given the overall improvements I have hopes that the inevitable sequel can build on this strong base while hopefully avoiding some of the missteps.

Anyways, this was a fun simultaneous playthrough, we should do it again sometime

I had no idea a new Snakebird was coming/is now out, shame that it seems to be very easy.

A Baba is You having an official release date is nice/unexpected, glad it managed to wait until after you finished this game
about 4 months ago

Minion of Bak'laag: 100+ unfinished games
Consider Yourself a Hero: Majority of games are beaten

I liked this game more than I expected as it has a somewhat mixed reputation. What stands out to me and what I think pulled me in the most is how it is clearly an ambitious work. This wasn't someone simply going "I want to make a game like the ones I liked years ago", this was someone dreaming big and going for it and I can't help but appreciate that. I thought it was a "one man heading a small team" project until the ending credits when it turned out to basically be a "one man... that's it" one, which earns even more of my respect.

Let me put it this way: the quick description of the game I've heard before now was always "someone inspired by Treasure tries to make a game like theirs". That is definitely true but kinda sells the game short as I feel like the fellow basically went out to throw everything they had in here. It doesn't always work optimally (more on that in a sec) but you have someone creating all these characters and lore that they can't shut up about and a ton of gameplay and setpiece ideas thrown out there in a way that even Treasure would have never done. You get a 2d pixel version of The End boss fight from MGS 3, you get an "escape from prison" segment that is fully fleshed out in that it accounts for you going from no weapons, to one, to all and new over the same basic area, you get a bunch of bosses/characters you'll see later hanging out in the background or otherwise peaking in before their big scene (I love that stuff). It is someone saying to hell with it and taking a big swing and I'll generally be here for that.

It even accomplishes most of it... but it doesn't do so with much aplomb. I do not think that they have a great natural talent or feel for stage/set piece design. I think they clearly tried as hard as they could in this area and it did help, but Treasure were naturals at that and the comparison hurts. The story is too much and while it is all there (I read some summaries that help) it isn't the best told. It has definite warts, but I found myself rooting for it and overall I still thought it was good.

FWIW I did not have your issues with the boss designs (two had parts that were legit rough to figure out) so I wonder if hard removes some tells. I had troubles knowing where to go next sometimes, wish the map helped more than it did.
...the great zen masters, the hindu monks in their old age play on the banks of the ganges...