Two months ago, when I started playing video games regularly, I began a journal of all the games I’d played so that I wouldn’t lose track of them before I could find some means of databasing them. I intended that at some point I’d post a list of what I’d played so far with commentary, but before I knew it, the list got out of hand. Therefore, before I end up with half a billion games to go through in one post, here’s my video game journal as of the end of July. I might do these monthly or, like, I dunno, something.
This list is broken up into sections by how much I enjoyed the game, with games listed alphabetically within each section. Recommendations of what I should play next based on this list will be greatly appreciated!
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
See my review here. This was my reintroduction to the Zelda franchise, and I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. The precedence set by Soul Blazer helped me to appreciate it even more, and I remembered love for the GBA as well. Beat to nearly 100% completion.
Something about the way I didn’t enjoy Bastion lead to me to play Soul Blazer, which in turn got me on an action-RPG kick. This inspired the creation of AARPG when I realized that I could go into as much detail about what made Soul Blazer great as Egoraptor had done for Mega Man X in his Sequelitis video. This game gave me much of the materials that I needed to examine all of the other action-RPGs I’ve played, and I greatly appreciate it for that. I didn’t manage to beat the final boss, though.
Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP
See my post about it here. Sword and Sworcery is a slick-as-hell game with very interesting mechanics and, more importantly, one of the coolest and most unique presentations around. This is one of the best ways a game can be “one of a kind.” I haven’t gotten around to finishing it because of the whole “moon phase” mechanic and my losing track of what phase I’m in.
Super Meat Boy
My alltime favorite platformer for sure. With blistering speed, tight controls, and brutally brilliant level designs, this game is technical perfection. Even better, it’s not just a short indie platformer, but a full-fledged game, complete with even more bonus content than the already abundant game content. I’ve spent more than 20 hours on this platformer already, and I’d love to spend even more. Plus I’m so very close to beating light world!
Until Dark Souls inevitably steals the crown, Tera is my favorite game. I’ve spent more time playing it than any other, and I managed to get truly engrossed in its world and in my character. I will never end up playing it as much as people are supposed to play MMOs, but the fact that I’ve been to the level cap and beyond says a hell of a lot to me about how fun the game is.
I played this back in November, along with a few other games on the list, and I’ll probably be revisiting it before too long, after I’ve played through all the 2D Metroid games and a bit more Mega Man, expanding on my appreciation of Cave Story even more. If there’s one game to credit with reintroducing me to video games, especially platformers, this is the one. I never did beat the crazy-ass final boss gauntlet though.
The King of Dragons
Here’s a weird inclusion. A little over a month ago, my BFF brought over his SNES and all his old games, most of which sucked with the exception of The King of Dragons, a multiplayer arcade beat-em-up. The game is only forty-five minutes long, with a focus on short levels and big boss fights, and I’ve yet to complete it personally. After a week or so of my friends and I playing together, my BFF and my brother beat it together. Both of them had bragging rights over that one since the last boss is a god damn nightmare.
This is a cool indie platformer by Nifflas. It features a Metroid-esque open world, with power ups that you use to track back and forth across it. What’s makes this game special is that it’s open-source, so anyone can make levels for it. The game comes with one level, which took me a bit over an hour to complete, both on easy and normal difficulty. Nifflas also has released five other levels, of which I’ve played one, that took me nearly two hours to complete. (And I had to consult a let’s play a couple of times to figure out where to go.) It excites me that there are a lot of levels for this game, so that I can get my indie open-world platformer fix over and over again.
Mega Man X
After the Sequelitis video, and knowing that it’s one of my BFF’s alltime favorite games, I had to play it at some point. At first I was kind of miserable because I couldn’t beat *any* of the master bots/levels besides Chill Penguin. That is, until I learned how to get the chest armor, and then decimated everything. So far I’ve managed to beat Vile, but getting through the whole final level in one go is just too frustrating for me to handle.
I had a hell of a lot to say about this game, and initially I didn’t know how to take it. Hell, I still don’t, but I know I want to play it more to unlock the additional endings, because the way it stands, I can’t get closure with this game.
Summon Night: Swordcraft Story
The latest game that I reviewed. It says a lot that I only have a couple hours left of this game, but I just don’t feel like finishing it yet. The other games on this list that I haven’t finished are all because they were too challenging or, in the lower sections, because I didn’t like them. I liked Swordcraft Story, but it isn’t gripping or interesting in particular. If I had it on the GBA and could play it while I take a shit, I’d probably finish it.
You Have To Win the Game
Another open-world indie platformer, this one is very old-school and very difficult. That said, I somehow persevered and beat it to 98% completion in around two hours. (I’ve seen video of someone doing it in under half an hour.) Those missing 2% aren’t for difficulty either, but for the game being a dick and making you get stuff before certain points or else they are unobtainable.
This is a cool 8-bit browser platformer that The Hub made for Comic Con. It’s notable especially for being pretty difficult, which, combined with the fact that it’s accessible only by password, shows that it’s meant for the older MLP crowd. I enjoyed this game, but the controls are loose and can be frustrating. It’s also boring visually.
This game ultimately disappointed me, and I’ve ended up focusing on that disappointment so much that I forget how Bastion was actually a pretty cool game. I certainly have to thank it for making me want to play a better action-RPG, therefore stumbling into Soul Blazer.
I talked about this more thoroughly when I played it back in December. I enjoyed the plot so much that I almost ranked it ++, but decided against it on the grounds that I will probably never try to play this game again.
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
Another game that I played and wrote about last year. This game disappointed me, but would have done the same job as Bastion in getting me to play more RPGs last year, if only it had been successful.
This game has so much lost potential. It was fun to play and had one of the few game stories that I actually found interesting, but all the stupid and frustrating bits kept me from ever really getting into it, and the last level was maddeningly terrible to the point of ragequit.
Other Games I Tried
These are games which I played anywhere from ten minutes to several hours of and couldn’t get into them. I will probably not pick any of them back up for a long while.
Actraiser – I want to play this just because I like Quintet a lot, but I don’t care for either of the game’s vastly different play-styles. The Castlevania-esque bits only manage to feel inferior to Castlevania, and the sim bits are just weird, not so much fun.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent – This game genuinely scares the shit out of me, but that’s not why I won’t play it. I find the game too lose and almost broken-feeling. I’m never really sure what the fuck I’m doing, and when I manage to escape the bad guys, half of the time it feels like I did so through luck or bad AI or something. Not my kind of game I guess.
Arcus Odyssey – Really generic Gauntlet-esque game. Also I hate isometric perspective.
The Binding of Isaac – From the people who brought you Super Meat Boy, this game is a super-arcade-y shooter, and I can’t get into it at all. It’s also super hard so I’ve made no real progress in it. Probably won’t play anymore.
Braid – What with my love of indie platformers, this might seem odd, but I couldn’t stand Braid. The mechanics annoyed the shit out of me. I found no joy in the time control mechanics and gave up in less than two hours, having enjoyed none of it.
Chameleon Twist – My brother and I were doing a let’s play of this game for a bit, but he got tired of it, and our videos weren’t very good anyways. I had fun with it despite infuriating controls, but I’ll probably never get back to playing it.
Egokobo – I don’t know what the hell this was. Some indie dungeon explorer game with shitty, confusing controls. I quit this one almost instantly.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem – This game hasn’t aged well. It has terrible combat and really drab graphics which keep me from getting engrossed in the game. I got nearly three hours into it before deciding this one’s better left to those who love it.
Final Fantasy Theatrhythm – For some reason my brother decided to rent this on Gamefly, so I gave it a whirl. It’s a decent rhythm game, though I played the FF9 course and it didn’t have my favorite song from the game, then I played the FFX course and it didn’t have my favorite song from the game, and I left wondering what was the point.
Itabashi – Some random indie 3D platformer where you play as a train and jump around. It reminded me of Super Monkey Ball for some reason, despite playing nothing like it. Anyways I made it through three levels and died a lot, so the game sent me back to the beginning, and I said no, fuck you.
Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars – A game on Adult Swim. I appreciate the lesbian BDSM spider aspect, but the weird Pac-Man esque play isn’t for me.
Lone Survivor – Another part of the Humble Indie Bundle. I appreciate the interestingly horrific pixel art and find the game genuinely creepy, but not particularly fun. I don’t think survival horror is my cup of tea at all really.
Ragnarok Battle Offline – A side-scrolling beat-em-up game mostly meant for multiplayer. It’s cute and all, but there are other, similar, better games to be played.
Terraria – My brother begged me to play it because it’s like his favorite game of all time (he’s spent over 600 hours on it). I appreciate what there is to like about this game, but I found it utterly joyless and never want to touch it again.
Trine – A side-scrolling physics platformer with a lot of lost potential (which the sequel doesn’t capitalize on). The game is altogether way too floaty and imprecise for its genre.
Vampire Hunter D – A huge pile of shit.
Not Yet Qualified
These are all the other games that I’ve played to some degree and am not yet done with. These might fall into any of the lists above on my next journal post.
Ys IV: Mask of the Sun (SO FUCKING HARD)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (I want this so bad)
Illusion of Gaia (please don’t suggest Terranigma, I’m aware of it)
Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (3DS)
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
Magic Knight Rayearth
Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga
Phantasy Star 0
“…after I’ve played through all the 2D Metroid games…”
Do yourself a favor and play Zero Mission instead of the original Metroid. And then if you still want to try the original, it’ll be unlocked as an extra in Zero Mission so you can easily see just how terribly it’s aged.
Metroid II is a little better but still has a lot of problems.
Zero Mission, Super Metroid, and Metroid Fusion are all vastly superior to the original two, though. Definitely play those three.
I used to have Zero Mission (I mean I should still have it somewhere, but I don’t know where that is), and I’ve played through all of Zero Mission and Fusion some eight years ago, along with the first half of Super Metroid on an emulator. It’s just been a long time so I want to revisit them and see if I love them even more now.
Big fan of Eternal Darkness here, and even I have to say that the game has not aged well. The combat wasn’t even good back in its day — it was notable solely for being a step above shitty Resident Evil combat (where often the point was to avoid combat as much as you could, anyway). The super clunky controls are better than the tank control nonsense, but not by much. It was all about the story (Lovecraftian horror was still a relative novelty in 2002 for video games), atmosphere (nice and creepy, although I don’t know that I’d call it scary) and those trippy ass sanity effects, which were legit unique back in the day.
IDK if you’ve heard of the Happy Video Game Nerd, but he did a video on the game after himself trying to get into it by way of recommendations from a bunch of fans. I’m with him on p. much everything in the video. If the game was remade and modernized, I’d jump on it, but in this state, it’s too much for me.
Ocarina of Time has been on my To Play list for about 14 years. What’s keeping you from finishing it?
Nothing’s keeping me. I was playing it last week, and then my brother took his 3DS to Otakon with him. Now I can get back to playing it.
You should see if you can’t find a copy of Jazz Jackrabbit 2 somewhere. It’s a side scrolling shooter and probably my favorite platformer, though it’s certainly more casual than Super Meat Boy. Much like SMB it controls really well, and it’s all around a lot of fun. You should give it a try if you see it around somewhere. (It also has a great soundtrack.)
Anyway, impressive list!
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