Board 8 > Para's Top 50 games from 2020-2021

Topic List
Page List: 1, 2, 3
Paratroopa1
06/19/22 5:42:59 PM
#51:


Kenri posted...
Hmm... Pokemon Legends Arceus is my random guess.
Was released in 2022
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Kenri
06/19/22 5:48:23 PM
#52:


whoops

I keep thinking of this topic as 2020 to present even though it's right in the title that it's not that.

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Lopen
06/19/22 8:06:33 PM
#53:


That Doom Zelda thing looks amazing and I may have to seek it out

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azuarc
06/19/22 9:59:28 PM
#54:


1 - Normal, respectable AAA titles that a non-hipster would buy, but I'm a hipster, so I only bought one of them

Elden Ring

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Paratroopa1
06/19/22 10:00:34 PM
#55:


azuarc posted...
Elden Ring
You guys and your 2022 games (and also I explicitly said I didn't play Elden Ring lol)
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azuarc
06/19/22 10:01:19 PM
#56:


you expect me to remember what I read like multiple days ago?

Metroid Dread, then.

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Paratroopa1
06/19/22 10:08:07 PM
#57:


It's non-overlapping with the other genres, so it's not Nintendo

I fucked up by the way there's 4 time loop games on my list
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Paratroopa1
06/20/22 4:53:02 AM
#58:


#46: Fall Guys

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/0/9/9/AAA-H0AADXHL.jpg

When it came to making this list, the number of games that I felt like I could make at least a relatively passionate recommendation for was basically exactly 50. I ended up ultimately leaving nothing off of the list that felt like it belonged here (aside from a whole bunch of games I didn't play - I'm still discovering new ones that I didn't know about, it's annoying). The problem with this is that there *are* a couple of games where I did really like them, but I have absolutely nothing profound to say about them. I have nothing profound to say about Fall Guys.

Remember Fall Guys? (Formerly Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout but they officially dropped the subtitle, I checked) I mean, it's still a pretty popular game, people are still playing it, I think it either just recently went free to play or it's about to. I think Epic owns it now or something? I don't know. But it really exploded onto the scene a couple of years ago as a prime example of a pandemic era game (though not as big as that *other* much more memeable pandemic-era game) and it feels like it was a super huge deal for a bit and it's kind of receded now but it's still a big deal, I guess.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/1/0/0/AAA-H0AADXHM.jpg

I might not have a ton to say about it, since it's neither high art nor is it an obscure game that I need to describe in great detail, but it is a great concept for a game! If you're uninitiated, somehow, it's a battle royale game where you play a weird little bean guy (like a Minion, but significantly cuter, but still a little Minion-esque) and you have to compete in a series of obstacle course challenges. Every game, more and more people get eliminated, until it's just a few taking place in one last game to decide the winner. Or, more likely if you're me, you lost in round 2 and you tried again and you did not care about whoever the future winner was.

As a kid, I was a huge fan of obstacle courses. American Gladiators, Guts, and Legends of the Hidden Temple were some of my formative TV as a kid. I'd devise routes throughout playgrounds and McDonald's playspaces and make my mom time me in my attempts which was great fun for me, and WOW, I'm realizing that was a really early foreshadowing of my future interest in speedrunning. Anyway! Later I discovered Ninja Warrior, as well as Takeshi's Castle by way of MXC, which is really the precursor to this game I think - American TV copied it with Wipeout but I just kinda find the presentation of that show like deeply lame? Japan just does TV better, I dunno.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/1/0/1/AAA-H0AADXHN.jpg

Takeshi's Castle is great, though, and Wipeout is at least a good premise, and it's sort of shocking to me that it's taken this long to think of the idea of making a battle royale out of this - or really any good game involving cool, wacky obstacle courses at all. It's totally up my alley. Or at least, the obstacle course levels are, as they're easily the best thing about the game - inventive and visually creative and really fun to bounce around on, creating that experience of running a wacky gauntlet of challenges about as well as a video game has to this point. The team-based playground game style challenges are a little more frustrating as they usually result in your teammates being uniquely useless and being unable to make up enough ground by your own efforts - these are kind of the most frustrating chokepoints in the game though I understand why they're there. This game isn't meant to be taken seriously. Mastery is not supposed to exist in this game - there's too much chaos and your controls are too squishy. It's meant to give everyone a chance, and I appreciate that.

I haven't gotten absolutely hooked on this game but I have played it a fair bit - a few hours, long enough to win at least one round. I should probably play this game again sometime because there've been at least two new seasons introduced since I last played. This game is a little bit limited in its appeal - it'd probably be more fun to play with friends in the game, because playing it on my own, once I've seen every level in the game I've kinda seen it all. But it does have a nice 'one more round' kinda feeling to it and it's always really easy to enjoy playing. Okay, phew! I guess I did have something to say about Fall Guys. It wasn't so bad! I just have to start typing. These writing projects are a way of me trying to get through writers' blocks and I was really worried this one was gonna stop me dead in my tracks.

Next up: Wasn't sure if this game goes in the "puzzles" or the "talking" category of game.
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Arti
06/20/22 9:45:25 AM
#59:


Fall Guys is great! Yes, Epic owns it and it's going free to play later this week, along with the release on Xbox and Switch.

Also they dropped the team games if you play solo so that's no longer an issue.

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-hotdogturtle--
06/20/22 11:59:13 AM
#60:


Paratroopa1 posted...
I think it either just recently went free to play or it's about to
People actually paid money for this game? Holy shit. I thought it was another one of those flavor-of-the-month games that specifically went big because it was free.

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With what? ROT-13? -CJayC
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Dels
06/20/22 12:08:20 PM
#61:


???

fall guys is a very good game and completely worth money. what's with the condescending attitude?
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Snake5555555555
06/20/22 12:12:00 PM
#62:


One of the big reasons for the game's explosion was because it was free for the first month if you had PS Plus. So a lot of people (including me) signed up just to check it out.

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-hotdogturtle--
06/20/22 12:17:03 PM
#63:


Dels posted...
fall guys is a very good game and completely worth money. what's with the condescending attitude?
Not condescending. I literally didn't know.

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Hey man, LlamaGuy did encrypt the passwords.
With what? ROT-13? -CJayC
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andylt
06/20/22 12:19:23 PM
#64:


Fall Guys goes f2p and releases on Switch and Xbox tomorrow, I'm excited to finally play it! Also it's the only game on your 50 I've heard of so far lol. Wonder if we could get a B8 lobby going (if it has that kind of thing).

I will guess uh... Murder by Numbers.

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Dels
06/20/22 12:23:45 PM
#66:


-hotdogturtle-- posted...
Not condescending. I literally didn't know.

ok. that's how it read to me but tone is hard in text.
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Arti
06/20/22 12:46:58 PM
#67:


andylt posted...
Fall Guys goes f2p and releases on Switch and Xbox tomorrow, I'm excited to finally play it! Also it's the only game on your 50 I've heard of so far lol. Wonder if we could get a B8 lobby going (if it has that kind of thing).

Plenty of people still play it in the discord!


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-hotdogturtle--
06/20/22 1:01:48 PM
#68:


Usually games with a price (and no prior background) need momentum to gain popularity as people need to be convinced that it's worth buying. Free games often experience their peak popularity right at the beginning since there's no risk and everyone plays at once. That's what I thought happened with Fall Guys.

Though being free on PS probably explains it. Enough free players made the content for everyone else to watch and consume, so people on other consoles bought it based on that.

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Hey man, LlamaGuy did encrypt the passwords.
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Paratroopa1
06/21/22 2:22:15 AM
#69:


#45: Murder By Numbers

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/0/4/7/AAA-H0AADXV_.jpg

If Murder By Numbers was ONLY a Picross game and nothing else, I would consider it worth the price of admission. I like Picross games! They're a nice medium-easy kind of puzzle to chill out with - never so blisteringly hard that it breaks my brain, but just challenging enough to kind of do casually to relax. I bought all of the Picross games for 3DS (RIP 3DS, again) and that one Picross ripoff with colors on the Switch which is pretty good. I bought Mario's Picross on the 3DS as well, which I never played as a kid, and while it does lose out on some QoL it makes up for it with old GB aesthetics which warm my heart deeply (foreshadowing another entry on this list later). So Murder By Numbers, a game that combines a detective mystery visual novel with Picross puzzles is an easy winner.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/0/4/8/AAA-H0AADXWA.jpg

Murder By Numbers is the story of the improbably named Honor Mizrahi, a TV show detective turned unwitting real life detective after she discovers a 90's-era computer-robot named Scout who's trying to recover his lost memories after an accident. Shenanigans ensue as you do Picross puzzles to find sloppily placed murder evidence and gradually uncover, I don't know, some kind of conspiracy involving a comically evil organization and an abusive ex-husband? There's some light mystery solving and a lot of presenting evidence in peoples' faces Phoenix Wright-style, but it's mostly Picross with some visual novelly bits.

Now, Murder By Numbers is not Ace Attorney, so it's best to drop that notion as quickly as you can. The Ace Attorney inspiration is quite obvious in the game's writing, character design, and gameplay, but it's completely lacking Ace Attorney's subtlely layered intrigue, clever mysteries, and perfectly executed plot twists. None of that's here - it's a basic, silly whodunnit with precious little finesse or guile behind it. But again, anything that Murder By Numbers has beyond a bunch of Picross puzzles is basically gravy to me - and it transplants just enough of Ace Attorney's heart and charm to win me over. Just enough!

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/0/4/9/AAA-H0AADXWB.jpg

As I said, there's really nothing to be said about this game's murder mysteries or it's overarching plot - they're as generic as it gets. But I was surprised by how much I was won over by the game's primary cast - Honor and Scout have a lot of chemistry together and while it takes a little bit of time, it develops them to the point that I found myself pretty attached to them by the end of the game, and the secondary cast, mainly Honor's gay-campy friend KC and the low-key MVP in the ornery Detective Cross, are also pretty likeable. The writing's kind of all over the place - at times, it feels a bit too juvenile to be taken seriously, but it does occasionally find its footing and becomes pretty charming and funny. And it's refreshing how freely and frankly it discusses LGBT-related issues, stuff other games wouldn't go anywhere near, and does so with a defter touch than I'm used to - the entire third chapter is devoted to a murder at a drag bar and it's clear that the lead writer is someone who's really into drag culture and wants to treat it respectfully, which is a relief compared to the usual portrayals.

There's not a lot more to say - the characters are very well drawn, and the music's alright though I wish there was a larger selection of it in the puzzles. The Picross parts, well, they're Picross - I would have liked to see a gimmick or two there like the 3DS games, but I can hope for more gimmmicks in the probable sequel. At the end of the day, it's Picross, and I love Picross, and it's got a silly, fun story to read in the middle of it that made me really like the main protagonists by the end of it, and that's enough to earn my attention.

Next up: This game got a lot of recommendations sent my way, because it combines two genres I'm well-known for liking.
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Kenri
06/21/22 3:14:56 AM
#70:


I should really play Murder by Numbers but I went too hard on Picross for a while and haven't played any of it in like a year. 'whoops'

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MrSmartGuy
06/21/22 3:44:34 AM
#71:


You must've played that very recently. I brought it up a few months ago and you hadn't yet.

Anyway, yeah, your thoughts on it echo mine almost exactly. The intrigue is basically nonexistent, but the characters are written so well, it doesn't matter nearly as much as it could've.

KC easily best character
Becky easily best theme song

And I finally got around to uploading this screenshot to showcase my favorite line in the game.
https://twitter.com/MrSmartGuyB8/status/1539152080887160838

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Paratroopa1
06/21/22 4:17:34 AM
#72:


MrSmartGuy posted...
You must've played that very recently. I brought it up a few months ago and you hadn't yet.
The dirty little secret of this list is that a ton of these games, I played basically between March-May 2022. I felt really inspired to actually expand this list by playing a bunch of games that I had been meaning to play, and MBN was a really good candidate. The last four months have been an absolute whirlwind of new games for me.
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azuarc
06/21/22 8:52:18 AM
#73:


I had never played picross before Murder By Numbers. A friend had it in their backlog and one day when I was over I had the choice to pick something from their list to try. I went with MBN. We ended up playing it together over a series of four days.

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Paratroopa1
06/22/22 11:19:31 PM
#74:


#44: BPM: Bullets Per Minute

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/9/0/9/AAA-H0AADXzF.jpg

I had a rule when making this list that went something like this: I only wanted to include games that I would mostly talk about positively. It's fortunate that the number of games that I could give a glowing review really did shake out to be almost exactly 50 - these are all games that I can recommend to varying degrees and that I can write about while focusing on the positives more than the negatives. If there was a game that I felt like the review would mostly just turn into me griping about it, then it doesn't really belong on a best-of list - this should be a list of positivity, and if not, why would I rank these things on a best-of list in the first place? That's my policy. Good vibes. Strong recommendations.

I have to make one exception, though. I hope if you'll forgive me for spending the next few paragraphs airing my list of grievances about BPM: Bullets Per Minute, one of the most frustratingly designed games I've ever played. Like, really, normally I prefer to try to stay away from toxic over-complaining about a video game but I have a lot to get off my chest here.

BPM: Bullets Per Minute is a game that got recommended to me by many people due to its notable combination of genres - a rhythm-based FPS roguelike, drawing obvious parallels to my love for Crypt of the Necrodancer, another rhythm-roguelike (but not a FPS - yet). When you hear that combination of games in your brain, what you imagine in your head is pretty close to what the final product is. Randomly generated series of rooms where you can only fire your gun to the beat, and you run around getting powerups and stuff and make you way deeper and deeper into a dungeon, getting stronger until there's a final boss at the end. It's pretty much what you think it is.

It's good. It also royally pisses me off. Look, this writeup's gonna be different, I'm just gonna get into my list of gripes right away:

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/9/1/0/AAA-H0AADXzG.jpg

1) The visual aesthetics. Yeah, I'm not gonna beat around the bush here, I think this game looks like absolute horseshit. Everything in the game is rendered in this style where everything is in a single shade - usually violently bright shades of Virtual Boy red by default, at least in the first level of the game. It is IMPOSSIBLE to look at - the default settings are completely blinding, and everything in the game is really hard to visually identify or understand because there's so little contrast between anything. It's like staring directly into the sun. I had to fuck around with the settings in this game to make it even possible to see at all; turning it all the way down to grayscale made it easier on the eyes but also made it way too dark to see anything. I eventually found a middle ground that didn't burn out my retinas but also gave objects just enough definition that I could tell they were there. But it's probably the worst-looking game I've ever enjoyed. I truly hate the artstyle of this game.

2) Bad roguelike design with regard to making meaningful choices. As a general rule, I prefer when my roguelikes give the player a lot of room to make build decisions and to hunt around and find different weapons/items potentially at the cost of putting yourself at risk of death. The worst roguelikes, for me, are the ones where whether or not you get good weapons or items, or even any weapons or items at all, is completely left up to the roll of the dice, and sadly, this is one of those games. You don't see a lot of choices of items so you're stuck with what you get, and they run the gamut from overpowered to basically useless. Will you find a weapon shop? Who knows! You're not guaranteed to on the first level, and if you don't you're in trouble. There's plenty of special bonus rooms but some of them are totally trash and some of them are game winning, but it's really just luck of the draw what you find. It reminds me of an older FPS roguelike that I hated called Ziggurat, where it just randomly gives you weapons but sometimes you don't get good ones or you get ones for slots you already have and there's nothing you can do about it, you can't like look around the level to find different ones. What makes Necrodancer good is that each level has items scattered all over it if you know where to look, but you have to hunt around, and looking for items forces you to play more of the level and potentially get yourself killed. None of that here. The level design is simply boring.

3) The stat system is incredibly opaque and boring. There's like six stats in this game - about half of them I don't know what they do at all, and the other half I have an idea of what they do but not how much they're doing. The game doesn't really make it clear how much a point into damage or range is really improving your capabilities, and good luck understanding what a point in agility or luck is even supposed to do. You don't get to pick your stats in this game - you mostly only raise them by finding little shrines placed around the levels, and again it's pure luck how many of these the game gives you, and they raise specific stats, so there's no choice here. Sometimes they're hard to find but I don't even think it's on purpose, it's just because it's hard to see anything in this game. I think raising your stats is good, but I can't even tell. It feels so boring because I can barely perceive any actual difference in my capabilities.

4) Enemy attacks are really hard to read. Half the time I can't really tell what they're doing. All FPSes have a little bit of this problem where all you can do is kind of strafe around them and hope for the best, praying that you're not going to actually bump into something in your blindspot as you do, but BPM really suffers from this because I can't tell what enemies are or what they're doing most of the time. This all goes double for bosses - I can't even remember what any of them are like because I either destroy them with an overpowered weapon or I just kinda die because I can't figure them out in time - and because of this game's visual style they don't look like anything.

5) Running across levels for powerups is annoying. When you find a health pickup, if you didn't get hurt then you can't heal yourself at max hp, so you just have to leave it there - but you can come back for it later after you do get hurt. But sometimes that can take a solid minute of running back through rooms you've already cleared out just to pick up a health pack you left behind a long time ago, and then run alllll the way back. There's no downside to doing it unless you're speedrunning, so you obviously should, but it wastes a lot of time.

6) Weapons vary wildly in power. Some of them are great. Some of them suck. You really have to experiment with them to figure out which ones are good. Again, I feel like they're boringly themed and I can't really tell the difference between most of them.

7) Platforming in FPSes suck. Please don't do this. Unfortunately, this game has a lot of FPS platforming and you stand to take a lot of damage from falling which is bad in a game where you can't just restore your health on command.

8) So there's like, optional challenge rooms in this game where you have to fight a really tough mob of enemies, but then they just basically give normal room rewards instead of something really special and cool for clearing them? I keep trying them just in hopes that I'll eventually understand why they're there but I almost always lose more than I gain from them and sometimes die? They're really unexciting and I don't understand the point.
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Paratroopa1
06/22/22 11:20:48 PM
#75:


https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/9/1/1/AAA-H0AADXzH.jpg

(Pictured here is a level with a slightly less grotesque color palette.)

That's not even my full list of complaints! There's other stuff I could gripe about - I'm not a big fan of the extremely binary way in which you must enter a room without knowing what's ahead and then you must clear it out to move on with no option of running away or skipping problematic encounters, for instance, or the fact that there's a bank where you can deposit money from one run and take it out in a future run, which stresses me out because I don't like having to invest resources from my current run into future runs in a roguelike. But like, okay, that's enough, I'm done. So why the fuck is this game on my list in the first place?

Because in spite of all of its design problems, it's somehow still extremely fun. When it all clicks, it *clicks.*

The gunplay is really fun in this game. It just feels great to fire guns to the rhythm. The sound design in this game is spectacular, and the sound of the guns firing to the beat of the music really provides a kinetic gamefeel that makes killing stuff enjoyable - the clicks of the reloads, which also need to be done to the beat of the music, are also satisfying. Every gun has its own rhythm pattern that you have to get used to and they're all enjoyable to work with.

Once I've found a strong weapon and have some good items and decent stats, and I'm thick into the midgame and just kind of in the zone... there are times where I would rank this game a lot higher than I did, but there are just so many frustrating design choices holding me back. But when I'm really in the thick of it, surrounded by this cheesy but really well produced rock soundtrack, I can fool myself into believing that this is a *great* roguelike, not just a good one. I haven't even unlocked all of the characters or played the higher difficulties, so maybe if I gave this one more time I would really come to enjoy it. It seems like a pretty speedrunnable game, too.

It also has a strong contender for best shopkeeper in a rhythm-roguelike since the merchant from Necrodancer. This game's sort of inexplicably got a Norse mythology theme and it lends Odin's raven pals Huginn and Muninn to the shops in this game - which means the shopkeepers are GIANT DANCING BIRDS. Fuck yes. Walking into Huginn's shop for the first time and hearing this banger of a theme is when I really kinda fell in hate-love with this game:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT7k718xGFg

Look at him! He's so happy! Is he a raven or some kind of weird chocobo? I can't tell! Muninn is the same and runs the weapon shop and wears some kind of high tech armor but also dances and he's also hilarious. I cannot stress enough how much a giant dancing bird shopkeeper improves my opinion of this game. I really want to hate this game but Huginn and his theme are holding me back. I cannot hate this game. I am practically compelled to write a positive review. For some reason, giant corvids are a theme on this list - this isn't even the only game on this list where Huginn is a major character for some reason (hint for the future).

This writeup was long! They won't all be of equal length - sometimes I just have a bullet point list of grievances and they all have to come out. So that's BPM. I really would like to see a different game try this premise and maybe do better with it. I'm really not against FPSes at all, and I love a good rhythm-roguelike, and I think it could have been done better justice. But BPM is a really good proof of concept.

Next up: I impulse purchased this puzzle game based solely on seeing its visuals.
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azuarc
06/23/22 12:18:49 AM
#76:


All the things you described are precisely why I haven't tried BPM.

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Paratroopa1
06/23/22 12:26:45 AM
#77:


It's a hard recommendation which is why I feel bad for even having it on my list, but I ranked it because my peak enjoyment with the game was actually pretty high, once I got a run going I was really into it
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azuarc
06/23/22 12:45:37 AM
#78:


No, I get that. There are a lot of games I both like and hate for opposing reasons.

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Kenri
06/23/22 2:13:32 AM
#79:


Paratroopa1 posted...
(Pictured here is a level with a slightly less grotesque color palette.)
I jumped straight to the last post and scrolled up, so I saw this pic first, and I honestly went "surely that's a typo or sarcasm? this is the less gross color palette?"

then I scrolled up and yeesh

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Paratroopa1
06/23/22 3:39:27 AM
#80:


#43: The Pedestrian

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/0/8/6/AAA-H0AADX12.jpg

Believe it or not, The Pedestrian is actually the game that inspired me to make this list in the first place. Back in late 2019, I saw a trailer for this game that was gonna come out in early 2020, and I fell in love with the look of the game right away. You play as a little stick figure man or woman who can move around inside of street signs, exploring this urban landscape by moving from sign to sign and solving puzzles along the way. In addition to giving me good puzzle game vibes, it reminded me of being a kid - when I was bored and riding in the car, watching scenery zoom by me outside, I'd always imagine some kind of platformer character running around and jumping off of things that I could see out the window. This has a similar vibe to that. Sold! I'm in.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/0/8/7/AAA-H0AADX13.jpg

At the time, I was gearing up to really get working on my game of the decade list, and I thought - wouldn't it just be *crazy* if I actually, you know, bought games that came out in 2020, actually stayed ahead of the times and played the games that I wanted to play that were coming out? Damn that'd be nuts. So The Pedestrian is kind of where my plans started forming in my head - I was going to try to actually take notes of the games I wanted to play and play them. I'd have a good 2020 goty list.

2020 ended up being a slow year for gaming in my opinion, perhaps partially due to the fact that 2019 was like the best year ever and partially due to, uh, world events. And for whatever reason, my plan to play a ton of games never really materialized. I did put The Pedestrian on a wishlist though, and eventually snagged it when it went on sale. It wasn't the first 2020 game I played, but it was the first one I made plans to play.

I played it for like 30 minutes and then bounced off of it at first. I don't know why, really - it wasn't that I wasn't enjoying it, but my poor attention span (ADHD?) has always made it difficult for me to focus on new games, and without the immediate urgency of REALLY WANTING TO MAKE THIS LIST, which I had lost by that point, I just didn't stay on top of it. I ended up leaving it unfinished, maybe only 10% complete, for two years.

Coming back to it and picking it up again took some real effort on my part - when you have something you've been meaning to do for two years, at least for me, it becomes strangely hard to actually work myself up to actually getting back to it. But I did, finally, because goddamnit, I was going to have as many games played as possible. So I sat down, and played it, and I beat it, and it was actually the *last* game I beat on this list (although there are a few I did not complete for reasons I'll get to). Really kind of came full circle there.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/0/8/8/AAA-H0AADX14.jpg

The Pedestrian, as I expected, did win me over with its cool urban settings - moving through each new street sign is kind of a reward of its own as you get these beautiful sweeping camera angles showing you more of the city and giving you new environments to look at. As a puzzle game, though, it's also really solid. The puzzles are mostly simple platformer-puzzle fare; pick up a key, take it to a door, push a block around to stand on and block lasers, etc. The gimmick is that you can move around the signs that you're standing in and put them in different places, and then connect them via doors and ladders, and you have to rearrange them in such a way that you can actually navigate through them in the right order to reach the goal.

It's a pretty simple premise that perfectly slots into a sort of easy-medium level of puzzle difficulty; hard enough to make you think and maybe stump you once or twice but never so bad that you don't progress. It's very reminiscent of Portal in that the puzzles are about creating connecting points between two places, the puzzles are thinkers but not brain-melters, it's all linear and takes place over about 5 hours or so. It's not as good as Portal, of course - basically nothing is - but it's a nice little jog of a puzzle game with a very pleasant atmosphere and vibe which brought me back to this game by itself. And it's got a fun little twist at the end, too, which felt like an appropriate reward for me coming back and finishing it after all this time.

Next up: The only reason I played this infini-death platformer is because it was in the Ukraine bundle. Out of all the games on the list it probably has the least business being here.
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MrSmartGuy
06/23/22 5:35:04 AM
#81:


It's A Me?

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ChaosTonyV4
06/23/22 2:04:02 PM
#82:


I played a lot of Ziggurat, but youre right that the potential of your run was basically 100% RNG, which made it really frustrating when you keep finding the same type of wand as the enemies got more and more varied.

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Mac Arrowny
06/23/22 2:18:11 PM
#83:


I've heard some good tunes from BPM and thought it seemed cool. Shame it has those flaws.

Also, FPS platforming can be very good - see Neon White for an excellent recent example. <3

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azuarc
06/24/22 12:40:35 AM
#84:


Is that what Vagante is? I've played almost none of the Ukraine games even though I bought the bundle.

Pedestrian sounds interesting.

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Kenri
06/24/22 12:57:08 AM
#85:


I'm guessing it's GoNNER but I'm not sure, I've played through maybe 10 of my itch.io bundle games and that wasn't one of them.

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Paratroopa1
06/24/22 6:21:55 AM
#86:


#42: RITE

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/2/1/6/AAA-H0AADYHg.jpg

On January 9th, 2022, for Awesome Games Done Quick '22, a runner named LincherTailow ran a game called RITE. The run was beautifully awkward. The runner began with a full minute of stone cold silence, as it became clear that he was more of a quiet type of gamer who wasn't comfortable speaking at length; the host, Brutal_Melo, jumped in and started interviewing him impromptu about the game to fill the dead space, which, props, the professionalism in how he handled the situation was A+, but it was also really nice to hear LincherTailow open up, as someone who's socially anxious myself - I don't know if he wasn't confident in his english, or just not confident in speaking at all, but he did fine in the end talking about the game and I felt like everyone was cheering him on. During the game, the host asked him what was going through his mind as he runs the game, and I'll always remember his response: "Making good jumps." Perfect answer. RITE is, indeed, a game about making good jumps, and that's pretty much it.

I've always had a real love-hate relationship with what I've disparagingly termed the 'infinideath platformer.' You know the type of game. You *know* it. The I Wanna Be The Guys and Kaizo Marios and Super Meat Boys of the world. They're all over the place. Super-precise platformers in spike-filled levels in which one small misstep means death but where checkpoints are frequent enough that you'll always make a small bit of progress with enough gritty determination. Maddy Thorson, more well known nowadays for making the infinideath masterpiece Celeste, founded this genre when she made Jumper way back in like 2004 or whatever. Remember Jumper? If you're reading this on Board 8 then chances are you probably do. In spite of its relative obscurity nowadays, it's honest to god maybe one of the most influential video games ever, and I played the hell out of it. I love-hated it back then as much as I love-hate games like Celeste now. The sheer dedication needed to develop the muscle memory to navigate the game's levels frustrates me beyond belief, yet there's something a little bit fun, almost calming about surrendering yourself to it.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/2/1/7/AAA-H0AADYHh.jpg

Well, RITE's another one of these little fuckers. And its gimmick is... nothing! That's right, nothing. RITE is a game that brings absolutely nothing new to the genre. You're a weird little dude in a series of short, numbered levels, and your abilities are running, jumping, and wall jumping. You navigate levels, collecting shiny things for 100% completion, and collecting a big shiny thing which unlocks the door at the start that you need to go back to, avoiding spikes and swinging axes and rotating sawblades the whole way. That's it! That's the entire game. There is no aspect of the gameplay that I didn't describe to you.

I didn't really think a whole lot of it at the time when I was watching it played at GDQ - it looked pretty good as a speedrun but the game was just another one of these platformers, and I don't typically play them too often. I probably wouldn't have given it a shot if it wasn't in the Ukraine bundle, but I noticed it as I was looking through it for games to play, remembered the GDQ run, and decided to give it a shot. I'm really glad I gave it a chance.

While it doesn't do anything new for the genre, the key to RITE's success is that what it does, it does *flawlessly.* For what it is, it's about as perfect as it gets. The controls are extremely responsive and flowing; movement and wall jumping feels exactly as it should. The level design has that sort of flash game feel to it where it's a series of levels that look mostly the same, built out of the same building blocks, but they're designed well. And maybe more importantly, for a game that you have to spend a lot of time staring at, the art and the music in this game are gorgeous. The pixel art in this is some of the nicest looking pixel art I've ever seen, with vibrant but not blinding colors and absurdly fluid animation, and the soundtrack, which I expected to be generic and forgettable, was written specifically for the game and ended up being really good, worth not turning the sound down for. These touches really make the game stand out amongst a sea of other games like it.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/2/1/8/AAA-H0AADYHi.jpg

This seems to be the solo (aside from soundtrack) dev's first major release, as far as I can tell, and it's a hell of a debut, with gameplay and visuals that are polished like a fine gemstone. It might have sounded like a criticism that this game does nothing new, but I think it's good when you're starting out to create something like this that isn't wildly ambitious but gets everything right; I'm kind of looking forward to what he does in the future. Maybe. I mean, I sort of hated RITE at the same time because it's another one of these fucking infinideath platformers and I think that by playing this I've had enough to last me another five years, or until Maddy Thorson comes out with something again, whichever happens first. But if this sort of game is your thing, you probably already own it thanks to the Ukraine bundle, so please check it out. Please make some good jumps.

Next up: Another roguelike-y thing. I dunno, guess one! It ranked #41, so it has to be something that's not like, TOO good, but just pretty good.
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azuarc
06/24/22 10:33:04 AM
#87:


Noita

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Paratroopa1
06/24/22 6:19:08 PM
#88:


#41: Pawnbarian

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/7/6/0/AAA-H0AADYQA.jpg

For some reason, about two years ago, Youtube sent me down a chess rabbit hole. You know that thing Youtube does, where you watch like just *one* video on a topic that's slightly outside of your usual watching habits, and Youtube goes, alright, time to pull up the entire catalog of things related to this and see what gets clicks? Yeah, I don't know which chess video it was that I watched that caused it, but Youtube went 'aha, chess, she's into chess now' and decided ALL of my recommended videos were going to be chess for a bit. To be fair, it worked. I don't really know why I got interested in chess - I don't really play. Not more than anyone else does anyway, I obviously know HOW to play chess and I understand the basic principles of how not to play the shittiest possible chess, but that's about it. But watching lectures about famous chess games and how to play better chess was really interesting to me anyway, and watching them made me feel like I knew something about chess and like maybe I could even learn how to play it well one day. Anyway, I don't know why I opened this writeup with a paragraph about chess, because Pawnbarian is not chess. It is a chess-themed game, but it's not chess.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/7/6/1/AAA-H0AADYQB.jpg

Pawnbarian is a chess-themed roguelike in which you have your player character on a 5x5 grid, and a deck of cards, each card representing a chess piece - you move the squares indicated by the chess piece. You starting deck includes kings, knights, bishops, and rooks, all of which move exactly how you'd expect, as well as pawns, which also move as expected, moving only forward except diagonally to capture, but they 'promote' to queens if you move to the back rank. Also on the board are enemies that you must defeat by moving onto their space, as you do in chess; sort of like other similar games like Into the Breach, the enemies move first and display their 'intents', each of them having their own attack patterns and abilities, and then you play up to 2+ cards of you own, moving your piece to capture the enemy pieces and avoid being attacked. It goes for several levels, and in between levels you can upgrade your cards with powers or recover your health. It's not really a deckbuilder like most of these games, your character's deck remaining the same throughout, but it does have a lot of the other trappings, such as incrementally increasing difficulty levels like those found in Slay the Spire.

I think I originally played this game as a flash game on Kongregate or something, but it has been polished up and upgraded into a fully-fledged game, and it's quite good! The premise is awesome and hooks you immediately. It starts out seeming easy but quickly gets quite daunting, and you need to play really sound tactics to advance. Enemies have quite tricky abilities that require you to defeat them in certain ways, requiring clever and patient use of your cards to make good moves. It lacks the hallmark variety and randomness that most roguelites tend to have, but the tradeoff is that you can't rely on spinning the roguelite slot machine and hoping for good items; you need to play well in this game. It demands it, and it expects a lot. I sort of appreciate the tactical prowess this game requires for something seemingly so simple.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/7/6/2/AAA-H0AADYQC.jpg

There's a lot of different characters with different starting decks and abilities, too, which really gives you a lot more to do in this game. Each character plays completely differently and has their own gimmick, and usually their own little fairy-chess pieces as well. I really like the Mystic, who can't get armor upgrades for their cards but creates safe zones whenever they move that prevent enemy movement and give you defense, and whose special "Ghost" piece lets you move to any unoccupied space on the board, which can be upgraded with cardinal or diagonal after-attacks for devastating effect. They're all fun to play - except for the Shogun whose whole gimmick is that they're shogi pieces instead (a sort of Japanese chess) and I can't remember how they work at all.

I haven't been able to advance too far into the higher difficulty modes, but they go quite far. Even at the first level the game is already pretty tough and I doubt I'll be able to get much further than that, because this game seems to have a way of punishing my impatience and maing me feel like a fool. As far as roguelites go, I didn't spend quite as much time absolutely hooked on this one, as it lacks that addictive quality of every run being totally different, but it's nevertheless an extremely precise and well designed strategy roguelike that I'd recommend checking out. You don't even have to be good at chess!

Next up: Oh boy, it's time for a tentpole Nintendo game! Which one is it gonna be?
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-hotdogturtle--
06/24/22 6:22:44 PM
#89:


Is card-based movement the newest modern trend for games that want to have "unique" mechanics different that simply controlling your character? Seems like every genre has a card fusion game now.

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andylt
06/24/22 6:23:56 PM
#90:


I'm enjoying reading these! The Pedestrian is the only one I've played so far, that's a great little game pass game. Love the presentation of that one (and the final level).

predix Animal Crossing

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Kenri
06/24/22 7:49:47 PM
#91:


Never heard of Pawnbarian before. It seems cool.

Paratroopa1 posted...
Next up: Oh boy, it's time for a tentpole Nintendo game! Which one is it gonna be?
AC was already guessed so I'll say Pokemon Snap.

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azuarc
06/24/22 10:42:06 PM
#92:


Paratroopa1 posted...
For some reason, about two years ago, Youtube sent me down a chess rabbit hole. You know that thing Youtube does, where you watch like just *one* video on a topic that's slightly outside of your usual watching habits, and Youtube goes, alright, time to pull up the entire catalog of things related to this and see what gets clicks? Yeah, I don't know which chess video it was that I watched that caused it, but Youtube went 'aha, chess, she's into chess now' and decided ALL of my recommended videos were going to be chess for a bit. To be fair, it worked. I don't really know why I got interested in chess - I don't really play. Not more than anyone else does anyway, I obviously know HOW to play chess and I understand the basic principles of how not to play the shittiest possible chess, but that's about it. But watching lectures about famous chess games and how to play better chess was really interesting to me anyway, and watching them made me feel like I knew something about chess and like maybe I could even learn how to play it well one day.

I have had this exact experience at least twice now.

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Leonhart4
06/24/22 10:45:09 PM
#93:


I will guess Metroid Dread so we can hopefully have a played game in common on this list

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azuarc
06/24/22 10:47:43 PM
#94:


Surprise, it's just Xenoblade DE.

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ChaosTonyV4
06/24/22 10:56:42 PM
#95:


azuarc posted...
I have had this exact experience at least twice now.

This is how my YouTube algorithm is lawncare-focused right now, lmao

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Paratroopa1
06/24/22 11:09:46 PM
#96:


azuarc posted...
Surprise, it's just Xenoblade DE.

Surprise, nobody got it.

#40: Mario Golf: Super Rush

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/9/8/7/AAA-H0AADYTj.jpg

I really like golf, which is a shame, because I hate basically everything about golf. From the environmental impact of all the water and land use and all of the labor that goes into its upkeep, to the inaccessibility to anyone but the rich, and the elitism and gatekeeping that comes with that. There's a whole attitude about golf and the types of people who play golf that is utterly noxious to me and I really can't in good conscience support the sport. At the same time, the rare times I am on or around a golf course and I shut all of that out for a moment, golf courses are beautiful. I'm the sort of person who enjoys really quiet and gentle activities in the outdoors far away from most other people, so golf is perfect. The rolling greens and the smell of fresh grass on a sunny day are perfect, so long as I forget the real world costs and inequalities. This makes golf a perfect sport for the realm of fantasy.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/9/8/8/AAA-H0AADYTk.jpg

Mario Golf is an institution. I've never really cared for other golf sims; too dry, too many stuffy white men in polo shirts who I don't care about. (Golden Tee does get a pass though, those games are cool.) Introducing Mario into the mix, though, livens things up a bit. Mario Golf for the N64 was great - just simmy enough to kinda feel like real golf, just wacky and arcadey enough to not be boring as hell. Really walks the line just right.

And it did so for four games, with Toadstool Tour being a nice upgrade to the 64 version, and the GBC and GBA installments adding cool adventure/RPG elements into the mix. And then Mario Golf... uh, kind of died for a bit? Not like F-Zero died but not really that far off either. It's hard to believe that between 2005 and 2020 we only got one Mario Golf title - World Tour for the 3DS, which I remember being sort of disappointed with but maybe it's just because I don't like playing as a Mii in story mode. It's been 17 fucking years since we had a console Mario Golf! The last one was Toadstool Tour! They didn't put out a Mario Golf title on the fucking WII for christ's sake! The console that's practically made for a golf game!

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/9/8/9/AAA-H0AADYTl.jpg

But it's finally time, and now we have Super Rush, and mostly I'm just glad it exists, because it really strikes me how long it's been since we've had a new console Mario Golf. I haven't really sat down and played as much of it as I really should have before writing this writeup, but what I've played I've really liked. I mean, it's Mario Golf on the Switch. It's a perfect game to take outside on a nice sunny day and relax with. It's as polished as you'd expect from the series, it looks great, and its new gimmicks are fun. I'm a huge fan of speed mode - cutting out having to wait for other peoples' turns keeps the whole thing moving a lot faster and it adds some interesting little strategy elements that didn't exist before - how much time do you want to spend lining up the perfect shot? And it's got online play! I think this mode's a necessity for online play to be fun, probably, just because it cuts down on the waiting.

I haven't really played the story mode. I don't know what it is I have against playing as a Mii but it just annoys me to be playing as an ugly Mii in the midst of a bunch of way cuter characters (see also: Animal Crossing). Maybe I'll go back to it sometime. Dunno if I'm missing much. I think there's some other modes that I haven't gotten into as much as I should have - maybe I'll take my Switch outside and have a few rounds as the weather heats up. In any case, not much more to say about Mario Golf. It's exactly the Mario Golf that it ought to be, as far as I'm concerned, and that's good enough.

Next up: One of my favorite games ever, but in roguelike form, is a pretty good way to get my attention.
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Leonhart4
06/24/22 11:16:36 PM
#97:


did they ever bring back putt putt courses

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MrSmartGuy
06/24/22 11:17:43 PM
#98:


No, but there are two all-Par 3 courses and the one-on, one-putt challenge is back.

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Paratroopa1
06/24/22 11:17:45 PM
#99:


wait when was there putt putt
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MrSmartGuy
06/24/22 11:18:30 PM
#100:


Mario Golf 64 had two putt-putt courses. They were just the 26 letters and 10 numbers divided into two 18-hole courses.

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Paratroopa1
06/24/22 11:19:26 PM
#101:


Why the fuck don't I remember this

fake fan smh
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