Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
02 February 2014
JohnH's finished games for 2013
Yaawn, is the blog waking up again?

jvm posted his games finished, I suppose I should do the same.  Unfortunately I've played rather little this year, despite (because of?) getting a Wii U.  But I have played and completed (or at least played significant amounts of) these:

- Spelunky HD.  I have played a good deal of this, indeed it's one of the few games I can stand playing right now.  It gets so many things just right.  My win/play ratio is around 29/270, better than one in ten!  I still haven't attempted a Hell run yet, though.  I just enjoy playing it the "normal" way so much, it's open to a variety of approaches, you can make it with very little special equipment, whereas going to Hell means performing certain tricks here and there which put much stricter requirements on your play style.
- Little Inferno.  It's hardly even a game, and there's not really much reason to go through it a second time (there is a cute easter egg if you never burn the Free Hug coupon you get early on), but it's just entertaining to set things on fire and watch the carnage.
- Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+, on Steam.  Like more and more people, I've become an avid poacher of Steam's periodic sales, and I greatly enjoyed the original, so I snapped this up when it got discounted in the Winter sale.  Despite a few creature comfort improvements (the game slows down time when you're about to collide with a ghost to give you a fighting chance to dodge it, encouraging risky moves) it's not as good a game as the original.  CE, for all its flash and multiple regenerating mazes and emphasis on time efficiency ultimately kept as your primary foes the same four monsters from the original, with the same personalities.  Those personalities, learning them and exploiting them, are the game of Pac-Man.  They're still here, but with the introduction of the sleeping ghosts and the Ghost Train chasing you through the map they play a much smaller role in the game, especially since, if one catches sight of you, frequently instead of moving in for the kill it'll switch to joining the Ghost Train, in which mode it'll actually try to avoid colliding with you!  It's still a fun game (although vulnerable to scoreboard hacking), it just feels less like Pac-Man.  Even though I call this "finished," I'm still working on improving my strategy here....
- Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara.  I'm kind of surprised Capcom released this, emulations of two of their most beloved side-scrolling beat-em-ups, and among the best-designed brawling games of all.  Get this: you get an actual inventory, with item select and use buttons and all, and are expected to use them or you'll probably do badly.  Magic users and Clerics get spells that they can use at will.  You can find magic weapons that are actually quite easy to miss, and the right ones can make hard bosses a cinch.  There are many routes through both game, some secret.  There are genuinely hard-to-find secret passages.  In the second game, play as a fighter and find a short sword and you can dual wield, but you could play the game many times without discovering that fact.  There is a pleasing variety of levels to explore, including a steerable raft going down a river and a mysterious forest with a semi-random path through.  It feels more like a D&D game than some RPGs that carry that name.
- Also not technically "finished," but....  This is the year that I finally started playing Team Fortress 2, and have found it wonderfully designed and inspiring, even as I continue to die frequently to Pokeman-spouting kids.  If you're not played it since its release in the Orange Box, it's free to play on Steam now, and Valve has kept the PC version up to date with a large number of new weapons for each of the game's nine classes.  Brilliantly, very very few of the weapons are straight MMO-style upgrades, but instead give your character a new power but coupled with at least one major drawback, and none of them obsolete the stock arsenal, which are still widely used and generally effective.  Sometimes a weapon's drawback is as simple as replacing one of the stock items, but sometimes their implications are profound and requires some thought.  The result is, using those weapons doesn't make you necessarily better, but more specialized for certain roles, which are sometimes quite different from the one your opponents will expect.  You get the weapons randomly as you play, so your available options naturally expand as you play more TF2.  Once you equip the Gunslinger in particular, the Engineer's game changes drastically.  And it remains one of the funniest games out there.
- Oh: I also beat FEZ.  And decoded its cipher pretty easily.  And also deciphered its mysterious Tome artifact.  I nearly got every cube without help, but alas my understanding of the numbering system was flawed, which sabotaged me in solving the Boiler Room puzzle, dammit.  I did find one of the Red Cubes without help, though!

Although I have over 130 games in my Steam library, many gotten from sales and Humble Bundles, I still haven't played most of them.  Among the games played only a short while, or not at all: FTL, Rogue Legacy, Terraria, Recettear, Magicka, Hotline Miami, Skyrim (a few hours), Fallout: New Vegas (also a few hours), and Brutal Legend.  That's not to speak ill of any of those games (although I've discovered I'm really not fond of Rogue Legacy), just... not yet.  Right now, many times it just feels like I have other things to do than play games.  Maybe some day, once the project is finished.
--John Harris at 03:16
Comment [ 1 ]

Comments on this post:

Of those games you've only just started, I recommend Hotline Miami. Really fun, but don't expect it to be a barrel of laughs.

By Blogger Matt Matthews, at 02 February, 2014 08:35  

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