Every Game I Finished in 2018 Part 2

I’m back! Did you miss me? Here we have the second half of all the games I managed to finish this year (there really were a lot) and how I would rate them. We saw some pretty terrible games last week, but I think from here the quality improves apart from one utter stinker. Anyway, on with the rating!

Rainbow 6: Vegas

This was alright I suppose.  The story existed, but had a cliffhanger ending that I don’t think was continued in Vegas 2 (which I played several years ago).  The gameplay was not terribly well paced, with lots of fights and too little downtime between them.  There were more than a few cheap deaths due to enemies hiding behind corners as you travel from one large encounter to another.  The shooting was satisfying though, and the guns all felt unique enough, even though some of them weren’t very useful.

Rating: 5/10 – I might have enjoyed this more when it was released.  It’s alright, but the poor pacing and difficulty spikes really put me off.

Titanfall 2

Titanfall 2
PEW PEW PEW!

From a badly paced campaign to a really well-paced one.  Titanfall 2 constantly kept itself fresh, with different setups and mechanics being introduced every couple of chapters.  Even better is it doesn’t allow these mechanics to overstay their welcome.  The multiplayer is fine, and pretty much what you’d expect from people who previously worked on the Call of Duty series, it doesn’t do anything new though.

Rating: 7/10 – Great campaign that doesn’t get dull even in its slower moments.  The multiplayer does little more than its predecessor though.

Gene Rain

Pardon my French, but fucking hell this was a chore.  From the terrible translation to the shonky gunplay, there’s very little to like here.  It looked pretty sometimes, and the enemy AI wasn’t always dreadful, but even at less than 4 hours long I’d say don’t waste your time.

Rating: 2/10 – It only broke twice and looks pretty sometimes.

Hollow Knight

One of, if not the, most beautiful looking games I played this year.  A balls hard Metroidvania game with a ton of content and thrilling bosses.  I finished with only 41% completion so I’ll be going back to see what else there is.  On a side note, Deepnest is the most horrifying location I’ve seen in any game all year.

Rating: 9/10 – Incredible.  I just wish there a was a touch more direction from the start.

Phantom Doctrine

Phantom Doctrine
Infiltration is key, and completing a mission is so much easier if you manage to stay hidden.

Basically XCOM during the Cold War.  It’s a hell of a good knock-off, although the story is a bit over complicated and there’s some repetition in the late game.  There are tons of cool ideas, from kidnapping enemy characters and releasing them as sleeper agents, to using stealth to complete entire missions like proper spies.  If you’re after more XCOM though, this is just great.

Rating: 8/10 – Great stuff.  Could do with being a bit more streamlined.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China

If you haven’t played an Assassin’s Creed game before, good luck having a clue what’s going on (and even then the story is terrible and poorly told).  The slightly off controls from the main series are present even in this 2.5D iteration, and there’s very little feedback for your actions in most situations.  Still, it looks very pretty (apart from the comical fire effects) and managing to fully stealth your way through a section is quite satisfying.

Rating: 5/10 – Treat it like a puzzle game and you might have some fun with it.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India

Yep, more of the same.  It’s brighter this time, with plenty of good use of colour, and there are some new mechanics too, such as a roll you can use on landing to keep your momentum.  There are other like instant death traps, instant fail stealth sections, and outrageously strict time limit sections.  The controls just aren’t sharp enough to allow for the quick movements you need, leading to incredibly frustrating sections.  The inclusion of some post-game challenge rooms was nice I suppose.

Rating: 4/10 – Nice try, but the poor controls make the new mechanics an utter chore.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia

Assassin's Creed Chronicles Russia
When they use colour, it really does stand out.

Oh yes.  I played all three back to back because I might be insane.  More instant death traps, more instant fail stealth sections, more trial and error guesswork.  More, more, more…of the worst elements of the previous games.  I will say the grey and red colour palette works really well though, and the final boss fight is pretty fun once you get past the early parts of the level.  It doesn’t make up for all the crap that came before though.

Rating: 4/10 – Still bad for the same reasons.  Some of the levels were infuriating!

Onrush

This was more like it!  I took the free trial for Xbox Game Pass to play this and I really enjoyed it.  Fast paced Overwatch meets Burnout driving madness, as two teams race on superpowered bikes and cars in objective-based competition.  Who can boost the most?  Who can control a moving point for a set time limit?  It’s incredibly well put together with a great level of polish and a solid (and populated) multiplayer mode.  Some of the single-player events are irritating (4 stages, if you fail one its back to the start!) but on the whole, it’s top fun.

Rating: 8/10 – Novel multiplayer driving game that was still fun 15 hours later.  A couple of annoyances in the campaign mode though.

Marvel’s Spider-Man

Very, very good! I don’t like open world games much, but this nailed it by being just plain fun. The side activities weren’t overbearing, and just traveling around was very satisfying. The story was good, but the story missions were a bit too linear and lost what made other parts of the game so much fun. Insomniac Games sure know how to make a good traversal system.

Rating: 9/10 – Great fun. Looks pretty, has a good story, and is satisfying to play. I even bothered to get the platinum trophy for once.

Transference

Transference
Hi?

This cost £20 and lasted about 90 minutes. I’m not one to rant about game length very often, but I felt a touch ripped off with that. Anyway, it’s a narrative-driven horror game in the vein of Layers of Fear. It was interesting, with switches allowing you to swap between the psyches of three different family members who see the world in different ways, but it felt more ‘Take item A to place B’ than there being much exploration. I played it on Xbox One, but it’s designed with VR in mind, so maybe I missed out in that regard.

Rating: 6/10 – Too short for the money. Interesting though, and may have been better in VR. Story, presentation, and psyche switching were cool.

Forza Horizon 4

More Game Pass goodness here. I’ve got something of a soft spot for the Forza Horizon games, and I’ve played (and finished) all of them to date. Whilst it’s great to have such a fun racer set in Britain, I still feel that the previous installment, based in Australia was the best. This version takes a bit longer to give you the freedom to do as you want, and the landscape is (understandably) less varied. The seasons are an interesting addition, but waiting for the right one to come around to do races the way you want isn’t great. Still, the racing and car collecting are as fun as ever.

Rating: 8/10 – Really great racing held back by a couple of odd choices.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

I thought this was a pretty cool idea. Essentially a puzzle game in which Toad and Toadette explore small areas to find a way to a star. There’s plenty of variety in the levels, but I don’t think there were enough of them, even with the bonus Super Mario Odyssey ones. What’s there is good, especially with the bonus objectives, and it plays well in both portable and docked mode.  It gets pretty tough later on too!

Rating: 7/10 – Pretty good! A bit light on content though.

Shenmue

Shenmue
I wonder if the black car had any sailors in it.

I was given the Shenmue 1 & 2 collection for my birthday and it felt great to dive back into the games I played as a teenager. Time hasn’t been all that kind to them, with outdated visuals and a horrible camera system. As a piece of gaming history it’s still satisfying to play, and it’s 3D world exploring with a focus on time likely contributed to how the Dead Rising series developed. I await the third entry!

Rating: 5/10 – Replaying it feels good, but there’s no doubt it’s horribly dated.

Kingdom: New Lands

More Game Pass goodness. Well, sort of goodness. It’s an interesting 2D survival game in which you find money to build up a camp that’s attacked every night. I like the visuals, and the music is wonderful, but the gameplay grew tired quite quickly.

Rating: 6/10 – There’s a fair bit to like here, but it got a bit dull before long.

Bayonetta 2

This was a bit good then! I enjoyed the original Bayonetta, so I’m glad they rereleased the sequel on Switch. Fast paced character-action fun with a lot of variety and challenge, plus it looks and sounds fantastic. The story was a bit all over the place and the camera sometimes made it tricky to see incoming attacks, but it was just so much fun that it was hard to be irritated for long.

Rating: 9/10 – An absolute blast to play with a ton of extra content. Bring on Bayonetta 3 next year!

Night Trap

Night Trap
Manly moustaches!

Halloween action here, with a game that’s all over the place. It’s a cool idea, watching a movie and capturing the monsters as you go, but you miss a lot of what’s going on with the story because you spend so much time looking for the monsters. It’s an interesting look into gaming’s past though, and seeing how far FMV games have come in the past twenty years is interesting.

Rating: 5/10 – It’s more interesting to experience than enjoyable. Delightfully camp at times though.

Call of Cthulhu

I really wanted to like this one. I’m a big fan of Lovecraftian horror, and was excited to see how a new team managed after playing Dark Corners of the Earth a couple of years back. But between its short run time (especially for a full priced game) and janky presentation, I was left a bit disappointed. The story was good, and the first half of the game was very engaging and the fact you could approach puzzles in a lot of different ways was great, but the longer it goes on, the more the cracks begin to show. Animations seem off, sound syncing doesn’t match up, and the stealth sections are more than a little annoying. It’s a bit expensive for what it is!

Rating: 7/10 – Great Lovecraftian story held bake by some weak mechanics and presentation.

Rise & Shine

A run and gun game of sorts, Rise & Shine was something I wanted to pick up when it came out but never got around to. Then Xbox Game Pass came along again and I’m glad I didn’t buy it. The visuals are nice, and the idea of one video game empire attacking another was interesting, but completely ignored once the game gets going. The combat is ok, but the twin stick style controls are a touch awkward. I didn’t like having to hold LT to aim before being able to fire, and the weapon/ability switching felt wrong somehow. Not being able to rebind controls annoyed me, as did some wonky checkpointing, but it’s not a bad game. Very short though, clocking in at under two hours if you ignore the bonkers challenge of Ironman Mode…

Rating: 6/10 – It’s fine. Full of video game reference, and tried to keep things varied, but doesn’t really do much that stands out.

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

Danganronpa 2 Goodbye Despair
Gundham is my personal hero.

Utterly bonkers. Somehow more bonkers than the first game in fact. A bunch of school students on an island are forced to murder each other and then investigate said murders to root out the perpetrator. The trials that follow the investigations start easy enough but become very convoluted later on to really increase the challenge. There were a few too many types of mini-game for my liking, but the insane story had me hooked from start to finish, Also, I like demonic hamsters…

Rating: 8/10 – Great story, too many mini-games in the trial though. Occasionally the story labours a point far more than needed, but I had a great time with this.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

This was a bit good then! I’m a disappointed in myself for leaving it this long to play one of the top games of 2017. Taking on the role of Senua, travel to the underworld to save your lost love, fighting against enemies as well as Senua’s psychosis. The sound design and animation are both glorious (why were there no ripple when Senua walked in puddles though?) and the combat, whilst simple, felt powerful and weighty. The sound balance felt a little out in the cutscenes, and some of the puzzles (finding shapes in the environment) were a bit fiddly, but otherwise this was great.

Rating: 8/10 – Great stuff let down slightly at times by the puzzles.

Diablo 3

I just can’t help but buy Diablo 3 whenever it’s released. This was the Switch version and I gladly dropped the money to play it again, if only because having a way to play it on the go is pretty great. Tons of content, a lengthy campaign, local multiplayer. What more could you want? Whilst the campaign’s pacing is a bit uneven, the fact that there are so many ways to play means it can easily be overlooked. The Switch version comes with all the previously released DLC, and I don’t think there are many better value games when it comes to sheer volume of quality content. Remember when Blizzard were this generous?

Rating: 9/10 – An excellent value package that’s even more fun today than it was when it first released.

Horizon Chase Turbo

Horizon Chase Turbo City
Vroooooom!

Super fast-paced arcade racing in the vein of OutRun and Rad Racer. Tons of cars, tons of tracks, great music, and tremendously fun racing. It’s very lightweight but fun in short bursts, although the difficulty is a bit all over the place at times. Even better, if you want to give it a go, it’s also available as a free to try game on iOS, so there’s really no excuse!

Rating: 8/10 – Occasionally difficult to the point of irritation, but a really fun, lightweight arcade racer.

Mutant: Year Zero

It’s janky, buggy, and doesn’t teach you very well. No, not me! Mutant: Year Zero. It’s flawed in so many ways, but I loved this open world/turn-based strategy fusion. Take your team of mutants into the Zone to find the mythical Eden. Collect scrap to improve your weapons, and ambush enemies in XCOM style combat. Being able to explore the environment in real time, before positioning your characters in preparation to strike felt great, especially when taking down a group without them even realising you were there. Of all the games I’ve played this year, I think I’ve enjoyed this the most, and sometimes when something is this enjoyable, you can overlook all those flaws.

Rating: 8/10 – Really enjoyable XCOM style open world gameplay. Take 4 marks off if the jankiness is too much of a turn-off.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

I’m putting finishing this down as completing World of Light mode which was…alright. It’s really quite repetitive, with some wild difficulty spikes. The final few battles are fun though. Aside from that, it’s a Smash game with tons of characters! If that sounds appealing then you’ll love it. It plays as well as ever and has tons to do, although I do miss the Home Run Contest.

Rating: 7/10 – Top Smash action, but the story mode is a bit of a grind.

Dusk

Dusk
Juicy!

Ultra-fast, tough, and one hell of a nostalgia kick! Dusk reminds you of why Quake and its ilk were so much fun in the day. You’ll travel through horror styled villages, twisted industrial complexes, and arrive at the very gates of insanity as you brutally destroy hordes of monsters. It even manages to maintain a sense of fear as the enemies are often strong enough to kill you without much effort. But you’re just as dangerous and have the sort of maneuverability that late 90s FPS games were known for, and a super shotgun that can shred anything up close. Some of the levels are a bit hard to navigate, and the retro graphics might be off-putting, but this is well worth a look!

Rating: 8/10 – A fantastic throwback if you’re nostalgic for late 90s FPS games.

A whole lot of games this year! I’m almost done with Ashen too, but I don’t think I’ll quite have finished it before 2019 rolls around on Tuesday. Either way, I’m pretty happy with how many I’ve finished, even if a lot of them weren’t from my backlog. Here’s hoping I make a bigger dent in the next twelve months. Until then, Happy New Year!


6 thoughts on “Every Game I Finished in 2018 Part 2

  1. I had to go back to 2009 to find my notes on the R6 Vegas games, but it looks like Vegas 2 takes place at the same time as the events of Vegas 1. So, like, the team from Vegas 2 is over here in this other less-interesting part of Las Vegas at the same time as the team from Vegas 1 is shooting up casinos. It does eventually finish the story from Vegas 1 but you have to play through the entire thing to get to the level that wraps up both games.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Uh, I didn’t know there were a Switch version for Night Trap, I’ll put in on my wishlist!
        Ok, got it so I have to have a baby to get more gaming hours, thanks for the tip 😀 😀 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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