1: Octopath Traveler (23-01)
2: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe + Wave 1-3 of the Booster Course Pass (28-01)
3: Paper Mario: The Origami King (13-02)
4: A Short Hike (19-02)
5: Celeste (25-02)
6: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (+ Season Pass) (05-03)
7: Pikmin 4 (23-09)
8: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (10-10)
9: Octopath Traveler II (12-10)
10: Spiritfarer (16-10)
11: Super Mario Bros. Wonder (06-11)
★ — Not bad!
★★ — Pretty dang good.
★★★ — Blew me away.
I only really finish games I like and even a one star is a positive review! It’s just to show how much I enjoyed it in relativity.
Advance Wars 1+2 Reboot Camp
Baba is You
Coffee Talk 2
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
NYT Word Games
The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe
The Talos Principle
XC3: Future Redeemed
Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
Octopath Traveler II
Resident Evil 4
Super Mario Bros. Wonder
Super Mario RPG
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
I'm not sure why I haven't done this yet, but better late than never! I'm sure I've forgotten things here, but this is everything coming to mind. I'd love to have more time to play, but 2023 has been (without a doubt) the busiest year of my life and I just haven't had as much time.
1) Fire Emblem Engage - 9/10
I know it's not the most popular FE title, but this will always hold a soft spot in my heart as the game that turned me into an FE fan. Last year, I was the kind of guy that thought FE looked stupid and groaned every time it showed up in a Direct, but I see now that I couldn't have been any more wrong. I fell in love with FE, its stories, and its gameplay with this title, and you'll see it's made a major impact on my game choices this year. Even if I'm playing Normal/Casual, FE just makes me feel so intelligent every time I figure out a new strategy and win on the battlefield. It's incredibly rewarding.
2) Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe - 8/10
This one was a lot of fun. I have a friend who adores the Wii original (which I've never played) and I enjoyed chatting with him about this. It made for some good memories, looks great, and the challenge stages were a lot of fun. In the grand scheme of things, though, it didn't particularly stand out this year. Of all the games I've beaten in 2023 thus far, it's the most forgettable... but that's not really Kirby's fault, more so a result of 2023 being such an amazing year for games otherwise.
3) Fire Emblem: Three Houses - 10/10
This game felt like Engage but was far better. I love the split paths; I took the Blue Lions route and hope to go back to the other two someday. The theming, story, gameplay, and everything else is just so wonderful. You can feel the love that the developers poured into this. To show you how amazing this game is, I'll leave you with this: Tears of the Kingdom is my most anticipated game of all time, and after a week straight of playing TotK, I'd go days without touching it because I was still so busy finishing up Three Houses. Not every game can share time with Tears of the Kingdom soon after release, but Three Houses fit the bill.
4) The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - 10/10
Here it is - the game we were all waiting for! This game is epic in every imaginable way and the gameplay is absolutely unrivalled. Ultrahand and Fuse add so much creativity to the experience and the feeling of discovering the Depths for the first time was insane. Despite the 10/10 score, I don't think the game is perfect. There are some areas I wish had been done differently. Part of me still wishes we'd gotten an entirely new world with the sky islands and Depths, as much as that would have been to develop. Most of my critiques lie with its relation to its predecessor. But ultimately, the gameplay here is just so damn good that it'd be a crime to give it any other score. It's my favourite game of all time despite my critiques. I played TotK more in the first few months than most other games, and standing on its own, I feel confident calling it the best game I've ever played.
5) Pikmin 4 - 10/10
Pikmin is a series I've wanted to become a fan of for some time, and Pikmin 4 finally brought this wish to life. The game is absurdly addicting and charming. It bursts with character every step of the way. Getting Platinum on the Dandori Challenges was a highlight for me... I felt so smart when I crafted an elaborate strategy to get everything done as fast as possible. I'm not sure if I'd like Pikmin 1, 2, or 3, but 4 was an absolute highlight of the year.
6) Fire Emblem Awakening - 9.25/10
I just finished this the other day, and again, Fire Emblem never fails to impress. This game was magical and it was great to experience the game that supposedly saved the series. The story was great and I struggled at certain points, making it even more satisfying to surpass those obstacles. The only reason this doesn't get a 10/10 is because of the sheer epicness of the games on this list that do get a perfect score, in comparison.
1) Fire Emblem Engage Fell Xenologue - 8/10
This was a lot of fun and a great addition to FE Engage. The story was a little forced with the alternate dimension, but all in all I enjoyed the experience and it was well worth the money I paid for it.
2) Mariokart 8 Deluxe - Booster Course Pass Wave 4 - 7.5/10
I had a lot of fun with this because it's more Mariokart 8. I hear some people say that later waves of the BCP are on-par with the base game, but I totally disagree. It's a far step over the embarrassing Wave 1, but it's still nowhere close to those original tracks. Despite that, it's a lot of fun to three-star all cups at every difficulty, and the price for the DLC is totally worth it given the quantity of extra tracks.
3) Mariokart 8 Deluxe - Booster Course Pass Wave 5 - 7.5/10
Same as above.
4) Pokémon Violet: The Teal Mask - 5.75/10
The Pokémon DLC was fun but too flawed to give it a high score. The DLC runs like trash like the base game, the land is fairly forgettable, I don't like most of the new Pokémon species (yes, Ogerpon, this means you), the story was okay, only a few side quests of value, and Kieran just really annoyed me. It's more Pokémon so I know it'll be a good time, but yeah, I'd much rather Game Freak have spent the last year just fixing the base game with free patches.
Currently on the go:
1) Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright
2) Super Mario Bros. Wonder
3) Pokémon Black Version
Overall... what a year! 2023 has truly been a phenomenal year for gaming... and it's not even over yet!
I bounced off Cuphead in one sitting due to the lack of levels and being mostly bosses. Just not my taste. In my run and gun games, I like hard levels and quick bosses.Just finished Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. Fun arcade beat-‘em-up. 7 to 8 out of 10. Worth your time for some quick arcade fun.
Up next: Cuphead
21. Super Mario RPG1. Persona 5 Royal
2. Metroid Prime Remastered
3. WarioWare (GBA NSO)
4. Fire Emblem Engage
5. Metroid Fusion (NSO)
7. Trails to Azure
8. Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception
9. Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth
10. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
11. Donkey Kong Country (NSO)
12. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion
14. The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie
15. Steins;Gate Elite
16. Pikmin 4
19. Super Mario Bros. Wonder
20. Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe
Uncharted 2 is a leap over Uncharted 1, but that’s more by capitalizing on its strengths (bombastic setpieces, cool story and characters). It still shares the weakness of the mediocre gunplay and bullet-sponge enemies.I've seen people say that the second game is much better than the first one.
Same feelings when I first played, but stick with it!The Nathan Drake Collection version. I'd never played any Uncharted before, but I have every game in the series and they've been in my backlog for a while. After playing the first game, I have mixed feelings. I liked the three main characters a lot, and the setting was really cool. I enjoyed the story. But the moment-to-moment gameplay was really not very much fun for most of the game. It's just gunfight after tedious gunfight, with the occasional platforming segment to break up the monotony. Those are awful, by the way; the platforming is downright bad. There were multiple times when I was stuck for minutes at a time, searching for the one ledge the game wanted you to grab to start the climbing sequence. I found myself saying, out loud, "This sucks. This sucks. God this sucks." quite a bit more than I would hope. The shooting is fun, but there's just so much of it. I know I'm not saying anything new here, but it's ridiculous how many people you kill over the course of this game. It's endless. There was a moment during a cutscene where Nate said something like "This is getting old." and I'm like, you're right, Nate! This is getting old.
Happily, things took a turn for the better in the last act of the game (when the monsters appear). Uncharted changed from a boring cover shooter to being a bit of a horror game, and that was a welcome change of pace. From then on to the end, I found myself having fun and feeling excited to see how the story was going to play out.
If the whole game could have been like the final act, maybe my opinion would be different. But as it stands, this feels like a solid 6/10 for me. I've seen people say that the second game is much better than the first one. Here's hoping! I won't be jumping straight into it though - I feel like I need a bit of a break before playing any more Uncharted.
Haven't updated this in ages, but here we go;6. Project Zero/Fatal Frame Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
It took more than a decade, but hey, I finally played the fourth installment of Project Zero. After playing the wonderful Crimson Butterfly on Wii, the okay-ish Maiden of Black Water, I can say that I appreciate MotLE and had fun, but I can not deny that I have some issues with the game.
There is a lot to enjoy; if you played videogames, in particular horror games during the PlayStation/PlayStation 2/Gamecube/Xbox era, MotLE feels like coming home. How the fudge can a horror game be considered as a sort of of homecoming, well, you know, there is something very enticing on how horror games like these were built during those days. The gameplay is tanky, the camera slightly janky during quick turns, but overall the atmosphere is phenomenal. That constant oppressing feeling, like someone watching you, makes for a tense walk around the facility you visit Ruka.
I think it's the best part about this fourth installment; the tension, the creepy sound effects and some ghostly appearances including creepy imagery of a ritual, the series knows how to creep you out. The location is spooky, there are some great ghost designs and fighting off the ghosts with the camera obscura still remains fun. I mean story wise it's fairly flat, with the two leading ladies having lost their memories and the cool detective guy doing his thing.
What kind of disappointed me, was how unsurprising the ghost encounters are. I mean, there are a few funny jump scares, but I feel that many of the encounters felt pretty controlled and predictable. With the tension being great, it was just waiting on the next encounter. Especially in the later chapters, they even became annoying due to how cramped certain rooms were and you couldn't really fight off the spirits. I also did not care for a certain sequence in the final battle.
Again, I like the game. But while I like the whole PS2 like horror era vibe this game has going, I can not deny that in it's current form and after five game within the same format, I believe that if Tecmo-Koei will release a new Project Zero game, they will need to reinvent itself; other horror games have done it, even the smaller ones. Conceptually Project Zero is a great horror game, but it need a shot in the arm if it has any hopes to turn it in a series with more frequent releases.
Updated my post now, these are not well thought out because I'm typing them on my phone, standing in a full train. I will try to better my writing for my next posts.1) Pokemon Scarlet, January 21st
Great new Pokémon, my favourite Pokémon game since X and Y by far. Despite really liking the characters, Pokémon and overall game design I realize I only have so many AI Pokémon fights left in me. Good thing the trainers are more optional than ever.
2) Dragon Quest Treasures, January 28th
This game is perfect for people who have my kind of brain and are huge Dragon Quest fans like I am. The gameplay loop is short and repeats a LOT. But finding another iconic piece of treasure with one of your favourite characters, weapons, or monsters from the serious feels great. Combat is not deep but enjoyable and I always love having monsters at partners. I will come back to this game and get some treasures for years to come.
3) Kirby's Dreamland, February 11th
Short and sweet, it's pure Kirby.
4) Cave Story+, July 13th
One of the OG Indies that I have owned for 10+ years now and never really played because I dislike playing on PC. The exact reason I bought a Steam Deck. Solid throughout, this game feels just right.
5) Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow, July 17th
Aria is one of my favourite games and I loved its sequel as well. The character art, writing, and immense grinding thanks to a broken luck stat makes me like it less than its predecessor. Everything else, it pretty much nails.
6) Castlevania Portrait of Ruin, August 11th
Did not know this game's gimmick before I played and was pleasently surprised. Again, not a huge fan of the character portraits and characters themselves but loved the change of pace. Controlling two characters with different abilities feels great in a Castlevania game.
7) Final Fantasy VII, November 19th
Will probably write something longer in the future. For now: The world, cast, and music are all among my favourites ever. This games ability to be everything while being something so specific is remarkable.
8) Storyteller, November 20th
Exactly what I wanted. Some of the puzzles had me stumped for longer than I'd like to admit, but most take a couple of minutes maximum. Great game that reminds me of one Professor Layton minigame, but still manages to be unique among any other game I've ever played.
9) Super Mario Bros. Wonder, November 22nd
Pure joy. Only have a few points of criticism, which all pale in comparison to the fun I had. Biggest flaw is that I just want more. I give this game the highest honor I can think of: it is as good as Mario.
Will update with short thoughts on each game later
IMO the Zero Escape games are better in almost every way so I def. recommend them if you liked AI.Just Finished AI:Somnium Files and the game actually gripped me more than I thought as I got it on a deep sale last year while the twists could be predicted how the twists came into their own was great and honestly makes me want to give the zero escape games a shot.
Pretty much why I also adored Pikmin 4. I like optimization but let me do it when I want to!the main thing I disliked about the original was the time limit. I like to goof around and explore and I don't feel like the original gave me much room to do that. Pikmin 4 solved that problem, while still having the option to really flex those dandori muscles