I started the year off right, by playing through a few games. While still in the middle of moving, and nearing the end, I got through Bugsnax and ManEater and also finally finished Burnout Paradise, along with the Re-Release of Scott Pilgrim Vs The World: The Game!
Burnout Paradise Remastered is the same exact game it was back when it launched on Xbox 360 and PS3 back in 2008, with all the included DLC, and some higher resolution visuals. While playing the same game with higher quality graphics might sound nice, it still has the major issues that puts this game as one of the more boring Burnout games made.
There isn’t a lot to choose from when it comes to video games about controlling sharks. Jaws from NES, Jaws Unleashed on the original Xbox, and that’s about it. ManEater from TripWire studios takes what should be a simple gimmick game, and deepens the plot and makes it a much more interesting game than I originally thought it was going to be.
Bugsnax is an adventure game where you play as an unnamed character who does a bunch of fetch quests for other island inhabitants.Even though you have been brought to the island under the guise of interviewing a famous explorer, you soon get relegated to a personal assistant for each character until they reluctantly agree to give you a single interview that lasts a couple minutes, then it’s back to work gathering items for the lazy bums and feeding them.
With a little better setup than last time, and a temp mic, I was able to get some recording done to talk about my favorite games this year. With another bad year in gaming history, at least I was able to find some games that were totally worth playing and quite a few of them were rad. Here is my list of my top 10 games of the year for 2020.
Ho Boy…. Game of the year for 2020…This is going to be difficult. This year was unlike any other year any of us have seen… but I’m only talking about gaming. With this year, we finally got the first new consoles in the past seven years. Back in 2013, we got the PS4 and Xbox One, both of which were terribly underpowered even on launch day compared to PC counterparts. Especially with the Xbox One and its disastrous Online Only DRM that caused such an outrage, Microsoft completely backtraced, and rebuilt the OS to work offline in the months leading up to launch. It even couldn’t do 1080p, landing at 900p for games out of the gate. Still, most PS4 and Xbox One games only could do 30 frames per second still too.
The PS5 and Xbox Series X seem like much more complete and competent consoles out of the box compared to the last time, but sadly, they are so hard to come by, that I wasn’t able to get ahold of either of them through pre-orders, and now with them being out for a couple weeks, still unable to purchase them and it seems like it’ll be that way for a while. But that really isn’t even that big of a deal, as so many games this year were delayed to the next year, and the launch titles of both systems are extremely lacking, even compared to previous Console Launches. So even if I did have new consoles to play with, nothing really that spectacular is on them, so I don’t really feel as bummed out about missing out as I would have if it was like the Xbox 360 or PS3 or PS4 launch.
This year I played as many games that I could that actually came out this year, and with everything that happened, every major world event being canceled, and every major game receiving major delays, there really wasn’t that much to play. Here is the list of a very mediocre year in gaming for me, and out of the paltry sum of games to play, here are my favorites in reversed order from least favorite, to most favorite, with some Honorable Mentions sprinkled in at the beginning.
Notice: This is a review of a movie I have not seen. Since it’s a DC movie, and DC has been putting out crap for years, I can confidently write a review based solely on their track record, not seeing a single trailer or screenshot of this movie and only knowing that Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wig and Mando are in it.… see if I am right.
I’ve been an early adopter for VR, starting way back in 2014 with Oculus’ Development Kit 2, or DK2 for short. Two years later the first Oculus retail headset came out and since then, there has been a steady flow of iterations on the hardware, and some very notable software releases as well. Back in 2016, I kept telling everyone I could about how absolutely amazing and paradigm shifting this virtual reality technology really was going to be. The key phrase was “going to be”. At the time, I said I believed that it would be about 6-7 years before VR really became cheap enough and mainstream enough to be heavily integrated in our lives, like smartphones are now.
Just like last year, Steam has put their “Autumn Sale” out during the Thanksgiving week, and with it, lets us nominate games for their own Steam Awards. With many returning categories, we are able to nominate a single game for each award. I can’t remember if last year only allowed one game to be nominated per award or not, but this year if I wanted to nominate Half-Life: Alyx, it’s only allowed to be nominated for a single category.
With recording and gaming equipment in several different locations across the country, I have to resort to a crappy headset mic to record the podcast on, so I apologize for the quality in advance. I haven’t played many games lately, but I did at least completed Miles Morales on my PS4 and played a bit of both WatchDogs Legion and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on Amazon’s Luna streaming service and my normal gaming PC.
I’ve said before that Spider-Man has always been one of my two favorite Super Heroes, tied with Batman. Batman was definitely my first with seeing the 1989 Keaton movie with my mom on opening day in the theater when I was 4. Spidey though, was more prominent in my childhood, thanks to the awesome animated series, the ToyBiz action figures and the plethora of video games like Maximum Carnage featuring Green Jelly’s soundtrack.
As a wise wallaby once said “Moving day can be a very stressful day”. We are moving across the country, headed towards Tennessee and gaming takes a literal backseat for a bit in my life. In those small amounts of free times, I do get to play a bit and I finally completed some really enjoyable games… and some not so great.
A game with this hard of a name to pronounce at first sight, Is usually a good indication that it’s probably not going to be something that I like. It’s got Japanese katakana underneath the title in it’s “box art”/Store page. That in and of itself isn’t going to immediately deter me away from the game, but it makes me wary, as I just don’t find most Japanese oriented games very enjoyable or interesting. However Pikuniku isn’t really a japanese game, in the sense of some random JRPG where you play an effeminate boy who has to save the world from destruction. No, you get to play as this weird red colored rock with legs.
When the original Mafia game came out in 2002 I was just getting out of high school and looking forward to GTA: Vice City much more as the superior “mafia” game, with its neon twinge of 80’s cocaine fueled nostalgia. I don’t think I even remember seeing the original Mafia game until much later on, and when I did, it left such a little impression on me, that I totally forgot about it. When Mafia 2 came out, again, it was at a time in my life that I just wasn’t looking for a italian mob game. It wasn’t until Mafia 3 that came out in 2016 that I actually paid attention to the series.
There have been many “Gamer Bucket Lists” people have created over the years, and I’ve read a ton of them. One common checklist item is getting all 120 Stars in Super Mario 64. Something I sadly never have done. I always lost track at the end after getting all the stars in each course and was just missing a few of the Castle’s Secret Stars. Last time I attempted it, was on the original hardware back in 2015, but never got past 116 Stars. I know, I know, I was so close.
Theme parks have been a huge part of my life, ever since I was young. Living in Southern California had it’s benefits of being extremely close to two major theme parks. Both Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm were always just a hop skip and a drive down the freeway from us, and Six Flags Magic Mountain a couple hours away. As I got older, my cousin’s introduced me to many more theme parks that I wish I could visit, and with the release of RollerCoaster Tycoon games on PC, I fell head over heels in love with the management and design of parks and rides.
I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to watch the Bad Boys movies. I loved Will Smith in pretty much every movie I’ve seen him in, and Martin Lawrence has always been a actor I enjoyed when I saw him in stuff too. So it always seemed odd that I never sat down and watched these movies before. I only recall one time when Bad Boys 2 was playing on HBO and I tuned into to catch a single part of it, but I never finished the film.
As The Go-Go’s said, Vacation was all that I ever wanted, so I finally took one. I didn’t get much accomplished in the last month or so, but I was able to finish a second playthrouh of Control, and experienced the DLC featuring everyone’s favorite Stephen King stand-in, Alan Wake. Plus transported myself back to 1999 again to play through the Tony Hawk Remake game.
Before this Remake of Tony 1 & 2 got announced a couple months ago, I actually played through the original three games…. In fact I played through the first game multiple times on different consoles. The original Playstation version, then the Dreamcast, and also the Xbox version. I kinda burnt myself out on the games, because I actually did what I never did before, complete each game 100% with every character in the game, even the secret characters and Created skater. By the end of my journey I pretty much have every spot memorized in the game. So coming to this Remake, I didn’t know if I ruined my experience by playing through everything before.
Work has kept gaming at an arms length so I spent most of this month binge watching a few series of shows and a ton of documentaries. In the few weekends I was able to get into the Final Fantasy VII Remake and also the PC Port of Horizon: Zero Dawn.