Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2017
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Welcome to the sure-to-be-massive, soon-to-be-out-of-control Geeklist where VGGers rejoice in beating games large and small, new and old. Here's how this works:

Whenever you finish a game, add it to the list and share your thoughts. Use your best judgement for exactly WHEN a game is 'beaten:' 'final boss defeated,''saw the credits,' 'completed the main storyline,' '100%' etc. Whatever seems reasonable and is the end for you.

These lists have been running since 2011 and tend to draw a lot of conversation. Feel free to offer whatever commentary you like on the game and your experience playing it. Be brief or thorough, broad or narrow - its up to you.

To get started, tell us what platform you played the game on and whether or not you've beaten it before.

There are always some "power-users" on this list who play a lot of games and have a lot to say about them. Don't feel like you have to contribute as much or as often somebody else - we like to hear from new folks and nobody really cares if you're "keeping up with the Joneses."

To all new users: the more the merrier. We try to keep it lively and friendly. There is no need to read through every page before jumping in (though you are encouraged to do that at your leisure.) Be sure to subscribe to this list so you can see what everyone else is playing!

Also head on over to Video Games Abandoned by VGGers in 2017 if a game is driving you nuts or just isn't any good! If you're just not sure about a game, embrace your ambivalence. If you want to see what VGGers were up to in years past, look here.

Also, make sure to join the fray at The 2017 Videogame Challenge!.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Should I add a game to this list if it has already been added by somebody else?
A: Of course!

Q: Should I add a game to list more than once if I beat it more than once?
A: No, but feel free to update your original item or add a new comment beneath it.

Q: I wrote something for this list that seems review-ish. Should I cross-post it as a review?
A: If you are so inclined, cross-post away.

VGG Community Goals for 2017:

mb Community goal 2017: Play the top 101-200 games on the VGG ranking list

mb Community goal 2017: Play games on 5 different platforms!

mb Community Goal 2017: Let's play games on as many platforms as we can!

And of course, our community goal for this list is to finish 1800 games!
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Sorting:

VGGer extraordinaire Grimwold hosts a useful sorting mechanism for these lists through his own site (oh, it seems weird now, just wait until there are 1000+ items). This lets you see what individual users have beaten (sort by user) and also how many times a game has been beaten, and by whom (sort by game). Due to the way VGG handles caching, you will need to refresh the lists 10-15 seconds after clicking on the links below.

Sort by User

Sort by Game


Microbadges!

Everyone who participates on this list and the abandoned list will get a free microbadge!

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You can also purchase these as a longer-term variant.

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Stats - Updated November 8th

Are we on pace to finish 1800 games this year? Not quite, but we're in the home stretch and we could still make it!

Most Popular Games:

14 Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist
12 Swappy 10
8 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
8 Portal 2
6 Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide
6 The Witness (2016)
6 Refunct

Most 'Dedicated' Gamers:

93 Legolas_Katarn
53 UnknownParkerBrother
53 wizcreations
50 tickmanfan
50 seneca29
48 JohnRayJr
44 Aarontu
44 ColdFrog
43 Eldritch
42 vyran
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1. Video Game: Dishonored - The Brigmore Witches [Average Rating:8.45 Overall Rank:1146] [Average Rating:8.45 Unranked]
Kevin Brown
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Just finished this off this morning. Been playing though the original Dishonored before starting Dishonored 2 and just about skipped the DLC and I am very glad I didn't.
Shocked at how much I ended up enjoying the DLC for Dishonored. When I finished Dishonored - The Knife of Dunwall I thought it was entertaining but nothing too great. More of Dishonored was nice, but I had a hard time getting invested in playing Daud, seeing as he was pretty instrumental in setting the shitstorm of Dishonored into motion by assassinating the empress and kidnapping Emily.
Playing through Witches I really appreciated the new story and how well it is woven through the plot of the main game. It genuinely adds a considerable amount of world building and depth. Daud's story in this DLC is maybe a redemptive arc, but the character that really shines in this is the Outsider. He really shows his chops as a trickster god who sets things into motion to see how they play out. Corvo, Daud, Granny Rags and Delilah all have the Outsiders mark (and represent 4 of the 8 who supposedly have the mark) and the Outsider ends up setting these four characters on collision courses with each other for fairly obscure and opaque reasons which gives a bunch of depth and mystery to his character and makes him much more interesting.
Highly recommended.

Will have to tackle D2 in the near future now while the lore is fresh in my mind. But I do need a break from it after playing Dishonored and both story DLCs.
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2. Video Game: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
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Finished the game on hard with my barbarian - she was the last character I 'needed' to get to lvl70. Really like this one, it had been awhile since I'd played, and it was fun to once again play through the story.
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3. Video Game: Firewatch [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:789]
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Firewatch
Platform: Playstation 4
Time taken: ca 8 hours
Rating:
Games finished this year: 1
First time?: No

I finished Firewatch for the first time about 4 months ago. Here's what I wrote back then:

Quote:
Firewatch is not the best game I played in my 30+ year gaming career. whistle

That's pretty much the only bad thing I can think of to say about this game. What a truly wonderful experience this was. For me, Firewatch totally hit a sweet spot that has never been filled before. It takes an ambient experience like Dear Ester and adds just the right amount of gameplay variety, character development, and narrative to make a truly engaging interactive story. It's amazing how the characters, atmosphere, and narrative really come to the fore if gung-ho action is pushed back. Hopefully, we'll see a lot more of this kind of experience (including more from Campo Santo) in the future.

Highlight of the year for me so far!

Recently, I have wanted to do another run because I enjoyed the game so much, and because the game has been updated with a developer's commentary track. The commentary includes a generous number of audio clips distributed throughout the game, each with various members of the team talking about their process. Some of the clips are acompanied by physical exhibits you can look at. I appreciated the way the commentary experience itself is woven into the game world. My one gripe would be that the game sometimes triggers radio conversations half-way through a commentary clip, meaning you miss out on a bit of the story. This is not a huge deal because you will have finished the story at least once before listening to the commentary anyway, but it would have been nice to force the radio chat to wait until after the commentary track has finished playing.

As the for game experience itself: some of the wonder of experiencing it for the first time was obviously lost, but I still enjoyed this very much. The commentary recordings led me to a few parts of the game that I missed on my first run through.


---

Running list for 2017: Firewatch

2016's running list: Until Dawn; Quake; The Witcher 3; Homeworld; Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising; Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain; Call of Duty Black Ops; Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon; Silent Hill 3; Tom Clancy's The Division; South Park: The Stick of Truth; Pit Fighter; Sonic the Hedgehog; Enemy Front; Journey; Firewatch; Sonic the Hedgehog 2; Gone Home; SOMA; Moirai; Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity; Everybody's Gone to the Rapture; Dark Souls III; Magic 2014; The Wolf Among Us; Life is Strange; Fallout 4.
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4. Video Game: Escape Goat 2 [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:3717]
James Smith
Australia
Ashburton
Victoria
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Platform: PC
Time taken: 3 hours
First time beaten?: Yes

First game for the year done. I really enjoyed this one, much more than I enjoyed the first, there are more levels, neat design and it feels more intuitive as to how to complete the levels in less straightforward ways. I have still got a few levels to play through as I didn't realise I was so close to finishing the final level. I have also managed to find one of the secret levels... as for completing it though cry the level secret levels even have "Rage Quit" as the option rather than just "Quit" which was a nice touch.
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5. Video Game: DuckTales Remastered [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:2194]
George Buss
United States
Muncie
Indiana
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Picked this up on Steam over the holiday to introduce my kids to it.

I have a soft spot for these old style games.

Played and completed with my kids watching it like a cartoon. Fun Family Time.
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6. Video Game: The Secret of Monkey Island [Average Rating:8.32 Overall Rank:42]
Kevin Brown
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Special Edition, played on XB1 via XB360 backwards compatibility.
5/12 achievements.
8 hours completion time.
First time completing or playing (!!!)
Hardcore challenge game.

I own the original version on the Mac and the Special Edition on XB. I picked the Special Edition to play because of improved graphics and voice overs.

Never played this before but for decades have heard that it is such a good game so I figured I should play it. Not entirely sure how I managed not to ever play this game before as I used to play a ton of adventure games just like this one. Seeing as how I'm probably the last person here to have played this I'll skip much actual game discussion!

The interface on the XB version is horrible and essentially ruined any enjoyment I would have gotten from the game. This game was not designed for game pads. At all. Cursor control is bad, switching between actions is cumbersome and digging through inventory is a chore. Combining actions and inventory is just crappy. Action menu is brought up by the left shoulder button then thumbstick cycling through the choices. Inventory menu from the right shoulder button then thumbstick cycling through the choices. SO when it came time to, say, use a dissolving cup of grog with an empty grog cup, I had to left shoulder button, thumbstick cycle, button press "use" then right shoulder button thumbstick cycle button press on "empty grog cup" and by that time the grog cup had completely dissolved. Tried this a half dozen times before pressing the menu button to toggle to the original version where the thumbstick essentially becomes a mouse cursor and accomplished the given task fairly easily.

I don't want to blast this game because of poorly implemented controls on an "updated" version. The game itself was fairly enjoyable. The puzzles are fine in a trial and error way. I learned that if the solution to a puzzle didn't strike me right away that much could be solved by just going through countless item-action combinations until something is achieved. The humor was chuckle worthy on occasion. My major complaint about the game itself is that I am not a fan of the amount of walking and endless backtracking in this game. I didn't think it would bother me going into it because I used to love games like this. I guess my tastes have changed enough and my gaming time is fairly limited so that I had no patience for what seemed to be a time use of 25% game progression vs 75% backtracking.

I suspect I would have enjoyed this far more if I had played the original version on my Mac.
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7. Video Game: The Marvellous Miss Take [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:4809]
Jason Birzer
United States
Burke
Virginia
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Platform: PC

Time: 7 Hours

You play Sophia, a woman who is out to get the art she feels is rightfully hers from her aunt, but has been claimed by someone else. The solution: steal them.

Gameplay is that you wander around buildings, collecting art while avoiding guards, lasers, cameras and dogs. Things get progressively more difficult as the layout makes it tougher to avoid the sentries. You also get bonuses for coming under the par time and if you are able to lift the masterpieces. (Glass cases which when broken has someone go fetch a guard to investigate.) There are times you may want to do it anyways to move the guard away from an area you want to work in. You are occasionally given items to be used against the guards. (recordings to distract the guards, teleporters, smoke grenades, and glue to freeze guards for a time.) You also have the ability to attract a guard to your position. And, you also have the ability to run, which makes noise. (Also, if you run after getting detected, you lose your hat, which you need to exit a level.)

You are also given two other thieves to play with. Harry, an older gentleman thief with a limp. He can't run, but he has a device which attracts guards. You need to leave with the device to exit the level. He gets a reward for "ghosting" a level, meaning he wasn't detected. The other is Daisy, a pickpocket that steals keys from the guards to open the safes on the level. Opening a safe instantly attracts guards in a broad vicinity.

Some of the ideas take away a bit from the immersiveness. Mostly the lasers, which only trip for you and no one else. I also don't like that the main lobby doesn't tell you what goals you have completed for a level. Going into a level gives you the par time, but not if you collected the masterpieces.

That being said, I enjoyed the game. Not terribly deep, and doesn't really compare to something like Invisible, Inc, but it was good for as far as it went.

Edit: Completed Harry's levels. Didn't take long, because in general his levels are easier, since he only needs to steal 3 paintings each level. Only took a couple of hours.

I suspect completing Daisy's levels will be really tough. The latter levels are pretty tight and likely will attract most of the guards on a level for each safe.
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8. Video Game: The Witness (2016) [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:658]
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Platform: PS4

Clocktime: No idea, really. I didn't track this closely but I'd say it took me at least 25 hours to reach the normal ending, and possibly more than 30.

Completion: Final stat was 410 + 13. For anybody wondering, the internet consensus is that 100% is 523 + 135 + 6

The major progress points in The Witness can be completed in widely varying order. My journey around the island went like this:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Symmetry, Marsh, Desert Ruin, Quarry, Bunker, Keep, Treehouse, Shady Tree, Jungle, Town, Monastery

I'd say the first areas that I made significant progress in were the Symmetry/dock area, the shady trees area, and the monastery area. It's funny that two of those ended up relegated toward the back end of the game


I enjoyed myself the most during the Marsh, Desert Ruin, Quarry, and Bunker. I thought the Jungle was neat but too dependent on your audio setup.



Commentary: The Witness is one of those games where you should know as little about it as possible before diving in. So: it's a puzzle game, it's long, it's the follow-up to Braid, and it won't hold your hand at all as you try to figure it out.

Still here?

To me, The Witness feels like what you would get if you took one of the better single-screen puzzle games on the app store (Trainyard, Where's My Water?, etc) and dumped it into Myst. I know that's irreverent and I know the game's more ardent fans will feel that I'm not properly appreciating its genius.

I do like the game, but I have to level with you. It really does feel like someone wrote a book of Sudoku that they were particularly proud of and decided to weave it into a lovingly crafted gameworld. Setting aside the 10-20 second puzzles that help you learn the unstated "rules" associated with a wide range of symbols, the puzzles in the Witness are quite good and many of them are quite hard. The island itself is gorgeous, wonderfully put together, and deeply intriguing. The range of mental challenges is broader that I expected. The process of learning is messy and inefficient, but it comes with a rare sense of mastery. You feel like you're becoming fluent in a language.

One of the game's shortcomings is immediately obvious and the other takes time to reveal itself. Right away, I felt a little discouraged and disappointed, because the reward for solving a puzzle is usually five more puzzles. The work-reward ratio in this game is sort of ****ed. Sure, the puzzles are the content, and you expect to unlock more content. But the gameworld itself continually seems to promise a sense of revelation that never comes. You think, ooooooh, if I solve this set of panels, I'll unlock that door, or activate this elevator, or turn on this machine, or whatever. But most of the time, the instant you do any of those things, the game says "OK, here's the next page in your sudoku book, get back to work." There is far, far too little sense of achievement and discovery tied to the space itself.



The second problem comes as no surprise to veterans of Braid: the occasional audio recording is pretentious, presenting itself as profound when it is merely painful (Blow didn't write any of this, but chose favorite passages from a range of historical figures). It's unfortunate that Jonathan Blow's immense talent as a creator of puzzles saddles us with his vapid philosophy.

Takes these two flaws together, and you get a game that is unusually anti-climactic. When I finally did unlock the last area, my interest dropped off significantly. By then I knew that there was no real discovery awaiting me, and the last set of puzzles is mostly old stuff stuck behind increasingly silly handicaps. When I reached the credits, my interest in exploring the island's final enigmas and reaching the true/secret ending dropped off even further.

Ultimately, the Witness is a great puzzle game, and deserves to be played both on the raw strength of its content, and also because only a tiny fraction of games leave players to their own devices (and retain the right to do so through masterful design). But for me it's not quite a modern classic. I value the island over the panels, and the game doesn't align with that. I want a final sense of discovery, and the game mostly eats its own tail.

8/10

(FWIW, I slightly prefer The Talos Principle, and definitely prefer Braid)
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9. Video Game: Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders (2016) [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:4100]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Platform: Windows (GOG Galaxy)
Started: January 1st 2017
Completed: January 3rd
Playtime: 6 hours, 16 minutes (376 minutes)
First time beaten? Yes
On my VGG Challenge? Yes


Been a quite good game; A bit of point-and-click, but no so much adventure as you don't really have an open world like in Monkey Island.

The game gives you a few different puzzles styles for you, as Poirot, to solve; mainly there is observation and concluding - you can also gain benefits from the way you are questioning people; If you do it as Mr. Poirot would do, you gain "Ego Points" - you also gain those from reading about yourself, and twiggle you moustache in every mirror you see on your way.

I would not say that it is a perfect game - but it was quite good and gave me a good six hours of play; There were some issues sometimes, where I had to use the Clue function because I could not do what I wanted to - so there must have been something else I should so: Oh no, the game did exactly this, and a few times I had to use it because I was stuck - I think two of each time.

Would I play it again? Perhaps - but it would have to take some time.

The characters appear to be based on the portraits of Albert Finney (Poirot, Murder on the Orient Express, 1974), and David Nivin (Col. Race, Death on the Nile, 1978) as Captain Hastings. But this is just my personal guesses.
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10. Video Game: Dragon Quest Builders: To Revive Alefgard [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:4960]
Matt Utting
Australia
Preston
Victoria
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Platform: Playstation 4
Time taken: ? (will double check if it has an in game clock)
First time?: Yes

Completed story line

Haven't really played Minecraft, so can't really compare to that, but I enjoyed the story mode, while some of the villagers can be annoying, helping them with their problems and growing the towns was entertaining.

The boss battles were... less than stellar. From a storyline point of view, the game deals with what does it mean to be a hero and should fate always direct your life or can you build a different future to the one that has been laid out for you.

I didn't do most of the challenges (bit cruel not indicating what they are during the worlds) and I'm not sure that I'll be in a hurry to try and do them.

It'd be nice if the freeplay mode didn't have the need to eat, it might be good for the daughter. I'll probably play it just to try and build a lovely town, but not sure how much of it I'll end up playing.
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11. Video Game: Circa Infinity [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Chris
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Platform: PC
Time: 5 hours
Time Completed: First
Enjoyment: Medium-High to High

Circa infinity is a puzzle-action-platformer(?) I guess. The first comparison that might come to mind is Super Hexagon, but it's not quite that arcadey (though the new released mode is exactly that). But I guess the only real relation it has to Super Hexagon is that you are moving basically circularly around a center area. The game mostly lets you take it at your own pace, but there are times when you can't slow down to think, and other times when it can surprise you.

It suffers slightly from one of those things that games like this do: it starts off extremely slowly. It was most of the first world before I even died once, and this was because for most of that part, everything is extremely telegraphed and you can usually tell exactly what to do. At this point you are mostly going to have to try to speed through to lose a life on most levels.

It also has ups and downs, and while for probably the first three worlds, it gives what I think is a bit more than enough time to get used to the mechanics, after world three all bets are off. World 3 has some good stuff but man does it go wild in 4 and 5. I really love the creative puzzles and designs created for these levels and think it has a lot to offer, challenge-wise. I'll probably not finish 4 and 5 with no deaths, but I plan to at least get through 3.

Also, there are boss fights. They're a lot better than I expected, to be perfectly honest. Can't really say much more about that but yeah.

One mechanic that I like quite a bit - dying in a level doesn't send you back to the start, but it DOES make you do the previous circle that you've done. This can lead you to some unfortunate chains of deaths that will knock you back more (but still usually to a checkpoint if you make it a decent distance). It's very fair in that regard. Though there was one or two levels where if you died at a circle, you were probably not going to catch up quick enough not to die a couple more times. It was a little annoying, but mostly the game wasn't annoying.

I guess. if you liked super hexagon, if you like action-y puzzles and you enjoy twisted topographies that get your head a bit dizzy, this is worth a play.

NOTE: If you complete the game, there are some maybe kind of strobe-y effects at the end, I don't know if they're actually dangerous but I figured it is worth mentioning.

UPDATE:

I've technically "completed" Circle Affinity (the alternate endless mode) as I have beaten 25 circles on all levels. I might go back and try to get the 50 levels in each (I got pretty good at 2+ and think I have a chance at it). I've also gotten deathless through world 3 and think I can probably finish 4. Still not sure about 5 but... I'm going to try anyway.
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12. Video Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:163] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Beaten (?)

Platform: Windows (Stream)
Started: January 3rd
Completed: January 3rd
Playtime: 30 minutes
First time beaten? No
On my VGG Challenge? No
Sessions: 3


Well... not sure of when you would say that this game is completed? I mean it does not have a story line or levels or so. You play it for 10 minutes time against your friends or against the ingame bots and you either win or loose...

I played three sessions today - lost the first one and won the other two. I beat the game's bots (lovely ladies), but is the game really beaten? Can it really be beaten?

...
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13. Video Game: Firewatch [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:789]
Krzysztof Zięba
Poland
Kraków
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Completed this game on the PC in around 3 hours. Played with mouse and keyboard.

Enjoyment: low to very high

Summary: a memorable game that I have serious narrative issues with.

This is a game that's really hurt by spoilers, so I can only suggest that you play it. It's got a striking aesthetic, and is, for the most part, an interesting experience, especially if played without the hud and the indicator of your position on the map. I think it's more fun that way. Also, the dialogues are probably the most natural-sounding I ever heard in a video game, so that's interesting as well.

However, major spoilers ahoy, as in, discussion of the stuff I've got problems with. Please read this only if you completed the game.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Ok, so before writing this down I watched Errant Signal's analysis of the game to see if I missed anything. Turns out, I missed out on the usual – subtext. I'm not big on subtext and metaphor. I like storytelling. Which means I am one of those people that the video mentions as disappointed. Here's the video, give it a watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CA3S9L_JvU

Chris summed my thoughts almost to a T. I enjoyed the game immensily from the moment your tower is broken into. It got me thinking – what's going on? Who was that guy I met? Who's Delilah? Are the girls alive? I was pretty sure that when I went fishing, I'd fish out their corpses or something like that. Instead, something else happened, something weird. Stuff got super weird. I got freaked out, I almost felt like playing a horror game. The way Firewatch builds paranoia and uncertainty is master class.

Too bad it does jack shit with it afterwards.

I'm very salty about the ending, if you couldn't tell by the above remark. It felt like a waste of my fucking time. All those interesting plot tidbits, all the „Who, what, when, holy shit!” ends in „oh, you know, just a weird guy with too much spare time on his hands”. Really? That's it? Why did he even do all that? To what purpose? Why all the conveniently placed backpacks and findings? Was it Ned who placed them? What was his goal in all this? The game just shrugs its arms and says „Ah, I don't know, just go to the helicopter and finish me, ok?”. Even Delilah stops saying anything, and sure, she's very upset hearing about the kid, but to me it also seemed like the devs themselves felt like there's nothing of value for her to add. She can't make sense of the plot, Henry can't make sense of it, and you, the player, can't either.

Some people say it's about the journey, and not the destination, but I rarely agree. First and foremost, there better be a destination. I don't think there is one in Firewatch. There would be one, if they added a short segment at the end, similar to what you get in the beginning. Like „What do you report, is it what you agreed on with Delilah, or something else?” and „What do you do about Julia?”. Nothing definite, just... something. Some way for the player to sum up his experience with the game. Instead, there's a whole bunch of nothing. As much as the characters are considered, the whole events of the game might not have happened, and it wouldn't change a damn thing in their lives – at least it doesn't seem so. Yeah, Delilah won't be able to come here anymore. Cool. Anything else? Any thoughts? Any progress in what Henry thinks about his sick wife? We don't know. The game doesn't seem to care, either, I felt.

I buy Errant Signal's analysis, but without a very specific piece of dialogue (the one about Ned running away from his problems and not doing anything about them) – which I didn't get – that interpretation is a bit tough to come by. All I got out of it was what he sums up as „So we thought we were in deep trouble, but after a few days, it turned out we're not. Whew!”. It just isn't a satisfying way of wrapping things up.

So I'm a bit angry at the game, but at the same time, I feel like if that's what Campo Santo wanted to do, so be it. It's ok. Gone Home wasn't about ghosts either, and I liked it. Maybe Firewatch just builds too much tension to feel like it can get away with it.
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14. Video Game: XCOM: Enemy Unknown [Average Rating:8.43 Overall Rank:24] [Average Rating:8.43 Unranked]
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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Game : XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Platform : Windows PC
Time : 34 hours (6 hours in 2017)
First Time Beaten : Yes.
Enjoyment : Awesomesauce!

Completion Details - I played through the game on Normal difficulty, with my inital base in Germany... by the end of the game I had satellites over all but 1 region: China, who had withdrawn from the council mostly due to a UFO I failed to shoot down, which led to their satellite being destroyed. As I have the slingshot DLC, I also played through the 3 missions that came with that, which were very tough, but earnt me a lot of Alloys and Elerium for the rest of the game.

My bad-ass squad partway through the game


Game Overview - I was a huge fan of UFO: Enemy unknown and Terror From the Deep back in the day, so I was super excited when a new version of XCOM was released, however it took me a long time to get round to playing it... I'm so glad I did though, as the game is amazing... there is sufficient nostalgia for those of us familiar with the originals, combined with some much needed improvements in the interface, graphics and the game mechanics.

Full satellite coverage, except for poor old China!
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15. Video Game: You Have to Burn the Rope [Average Rating:4.19 Overall Rank:7274]
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United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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Who knows how many times I have beaten it. 8 maybe? Who keeps track?

I missed out on getting credit for the Windows platform in the Community Goal. So I wanted to get in really fast on Web Browser so I can get credit for that platform. So I played this.
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16. Video Game: AM2R: Return of Samus [Average Rating:9.00 Overall Rank:3365]
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United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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Windows
First time beaten
15 hours (5 in 2017)

Wow. This is one of the best Metroidvania games I have played in a long time. I had a ton of fun with it. Some really challenging bosses and good hidden areas. Lot's of opportunity for skilled speedrunners to show off with shortcuts. I'm not very skilled at shinesparking, but for people who are they should love this.
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17. Video Game: Ori and The Blind Forest: Definitive Edition [Average Rating:8.37 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.37 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.37 Unranked]
Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
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First time. Time taken: ~8 hrs.

This game is an extremely accessible modern entry in the metroidvania genre, with beautifully crafted environments. I absolutely adore the aesthetics and the way the levels make you use your various powers together. The few sequences where you have to escape places are particularly memorable and are an interesting way to really test your ability to use your combined powers instead of traditional boss battles. Some of the platforming sequences (specifically, the few escape sequences) can be challenging, but overall the game is not difficult. Unlike most metroidvanias, no collectibles or pickups in this game are hidden in hard-to-reach places that require you to really master some little-used gameplay mechanic. You can create save spots anywhere you want as one of your abilities, which keeps the game from getting frustrating. You have a plethora of powers and abilities by the end of the game that you can use to get by challenges in a variety of ways, which is nice, though some powers seem a bit superfluous once you get to the late-game. Enemies can kill you quickly, but once you get the "bash" power, you can easily bypass or kill any enemy in the game.

The graphical style, the escape scenes, and some of the late-game platforming sections remind me of Rayman Origins or Legends. The Rayman games are a bit better than Ori at distinguishing platforms from background graphics, and telegraphing to the player where you are supposed to go. Ori is still great, but some parts will probably kill you a couple times until you figure out where to go next during a chase scene.

The story is short and sweet, too, though it is mostly narrated by a tree that sounds like Jabba the Hutt with subtitles.

Highly recommended if you like Metroidvanias or platformers with beautiful graphics.
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18. Video Game: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty [Average Rating:4.34 Overall Rank:7146]
Derek Green
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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First Time
Difficulty: Easy
Time to Complete: 6:09
Enjoyment: Completely Nonexistent
Rating: 2/10

Last year, I missed reaching the 200-hour mark on the 2016 Videogame Challenge by about five hours due to some poor decision-making on what games to play in late December. I should have revisited more of my old Genesis classics, but I didn't. So, I felt like I needed to pay a penance of sorts and get back on track for 2017. Even though I had played this game before and knew that it was lackluster, I had also read that it only takes a few hours to beat, so I mistakenly assumed that I had penetrated deep into the game the last time I played it. Since the first couple minutes are kind of cool and the game's alternative World War II history story appeals to me, I decided to do a quick run-through and see what else occurs. I figured that, at worst, this was just a somewhat uninspiring Call of Duty clone and that it wouldn't be painful. Playing the entirety of Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is honestly the worst gaming decision that I have ever made in my life.

First off, the game's mechanics are actually worse than I remember. When I last played this, it was about a year and a half ago and my knowledge of modern FPS games was much less extensive. I didn't fully appreciate just how rough and poorly put together this game really was. Hit detection is dubious, enemies do not jerk or react when hit, and it is rarely clear when you are merely taking hits and when you are in actual danger. Due to the manifold failings of this game, approaching it with anything like a strategy is more or less impossible and you have to kind of just wade in guns blazing like in the original Doom. Even though you are instructed to try to go undetected, that is literally impossible because all of the Nazis are omniscient except for a few who are planted so that you can use your mostly useless grappling techniques to inflict stylized kills.

Now that I am running my 360 on a fairly high-definition TV, I can see games in all of their glory or lack thereof. Last time I played this, the ugliness of the game was hidden by my old box TV. Now, I see that the game's visuals are technically inferior to those of the two Halo games on the original Xbox. It isn't even worth mentioning how far short the game's graphics fall compared to other Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 games. I'm not a graphics snob, but games should at least put forward a respectable effort and be comparable to the competition. The facial animations in this game are so bad that if you see them in isolation, you would be more likely to think that you're viewing something from the Nintendo 64 than something that was released in 2008. All of the levels and backgrounds are drab, there is very little detail, everything is dark and lacks detail, and many parts of the environment are not interactive so you can't really see the results of the mayhem that you're causing. The sound effects are also pretty mediocre and the levels are the aggressively linear to the point that you feel like you are literally working your way through a tunnel.

Saddled with those shortcomings, it could still be a reasonably fun but forgettable game. After all, it has a cool premise and the designers put some thought into the game's story. Well, here's the thing. I played the game wanting more of the story and it turns out that there is almost no story development once you get past that initial stage. In over six hours of game play, I spent no more than three or four total minutes watching story segments and cut-scenes, most of which were rushed and not very expository. The main character is an NYC construction worker who just grabs a gun and gets to business. He rises to become a key member of the American resistance, but he never gets a uniform, we never learn about his formal role in this organization, and we never receive any background information about him. One thing that I would really like to know is how he is so proficient in warfare if his background is in building skyscrapers. Can I not get at least a half-baked, cheesy answer to such a basic question? In this game, the answer is no. The only truly cool scene in the game is the end of the second act, where you assassinate the Nazi puppet president and blow up the White House.

Where this game adds insult to injury is that the programmers didn't even bother ironing out the unreal number of glitches. As in all FPS games, you restock ammo by running over where your fallen foes were and collecting their remaining rounds. The problem is that if you kill some dudes, then face away for any reason and any length of time, the bullets that they left will vanish. In a game where ammunition is not very plentiful and you sometimes have to maneuver around obstacles to get to the areas where you shot people, this is the kind of glitch which can add what I like to think of as cheap difficulty to the game. Enemy animations move and pose so awkwardly that it is hard to tell if they are standing still, running, or dead. While most of the Nazis are omniscient and know where you are at all times no matter what, there were at least ten times when a Nazi would be standing in my line of sight but would be frozen solid. I had all the time in the world to line up my shot and take him out. The game didn't freeze, but the enemy did for no apparent reason. When enemies die, their weapons fly out of their hands and often remain suspended above the ground for several seconds and once in a while, the weapons remain suspended in the air forever.

The most galling and inexplicable bug is that in one of the last several areas, after you fight a tough battle in a hangar against a bevy of bad guys, there is a random spot on the floor where you can stand and receive an instant death. The reason why this spot can kill you, so far as I can tell, is because if you were climbing around the rafters above and you were to fall, it would kill you. Therefore, the area on the ground below that is directly under the pipes is also deadly to walk across for someone already on the ground. Since this death will come after several minutes of hard fighting with the mediocre controls described above without a save point and might happen to you two or three times before you figure out the cause, it is deeply infuriating. And it is that moment, when you turn into a splash of blood and your weapons become suspended in the air because you walked across the floor that best epitomizes why this game is complete and utter garbage.

So, I guess this puts the Xbox 360 on the board for 2017? Too bad I couldn't start that venerable console off with something decent. The only game worse than this that I know of for the system is Civil War - A Nation Divided, which is probably the worst FPS ever made.
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19. Video Game: NyxQuest [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:5756]
Jason Birzer
United States
Burke
Virginia
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Platform: PC

Time: 6 Hours

Ha! Two games on the same page. Bet that won't happen again this year.

Anyways, this is kinda a cheat, since this game has been long on my soft abandon list (Last time I played it was over 6 years ago according to Steam). I wanted to finish this game, but I got stuck on a level and just gave up on the game. Just for the hell of it, I fired this up to see if a few years away would jog something loose. After relearning the mechanics, I was able to figure out how to get past where I got stuck and spend the 3 hours to finish the game.

You play Nyx, a girl with wings, who met Icarus when he flew into the sky. Icarus has now disappeared and you are in search of him.

This game show very much its roots as a WiiWare title, with the only control system being mouse and keyboard. You use WASD to navigate your character, who has limited flying abilities and also can glide for a limited time. With the mouse, you use your powers to move items, hold pillars that can crush you, press buttons and later on, fire lightning bolts to defeat enemies. The goal is basically to navigate the environment to get to the end of the level. There are various checkpoints on a level, but you have to finish each level in one go, with quitting meaning you have to start at the beginning of the level.

Overall, I rate this as a solid platformer, with enough variety to keep things interesting.
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20. Video Game: Enigmatis 3: The Shadow of Karkhala [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Jonna
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
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"Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering." ― Steve Maraboli
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नमस्ते (Namaste) – I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.
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Platform: PC
Time: 5.7 hours
Time Beaten: First

The Enigmatis series is definitely one of the best Artifex Mundi has developed. I really enjoyed the second and third games a lot. I liked the whole series in overall, probably this is one of my favourite HOG game series so far. I really enjoyed playing this game and would heartily recommend it to any HOG friends out there.


Also, woo, first game of 2017 beaten
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21. Video Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:163] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
United States
Washington
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Ticket to Ride - Steam (PC)
Won a five-player game
First time beaten
One hour

I didn't even know this was on Steam, but then I saw CrazyCatman's entry for this game and bought it on a whim. It's an okay adaptation of the board game, and not much else. I didn't notice any serious user interface problems during my hour of playing.
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22. Video Game: Titan Quest: Immortal Throne [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:646] [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Platform: PC
Duration: 24h6m
Times completed: First

Continuing on from my main game play, I added 7 levels of character to reach level 40, added 5241 kills, and died 8 more times, 4 times more than in the entire base game.

I found this 4th act much tougher than the base game. In part, because of the stupid drop system I complained about in my previous entry. At the end of the 24 hours of playing the expansion, I'm still using almost entirely the same weapons and armour from about the half way point the base game. Same rings, same weak ass bows, maybe I upgraded my helmet a couple of times.

It's just brutal. I defeat a big ass boss. My reward is 4 Otherworldly Chests! First chest, 2 health potions. You have got to be kidding me. Second chest, 5 or 6 common yellow magic items (nothing better than what I have, of course). Third chest, finally something rare, 1 green item. And of course it's a spellcasting helmet or cloak or some such that I can't use. zombie

I thought it was a bit disappointing that they went 'full Diablo' in this, as the second half of the expansion is mostly common dungeons and dark underworld stuff that's so cliche. I think they should have stayed outdoors and bright, it's what's attractive about the game.

Fun, but time to move on.
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23. Video Game: Super Mario Bros. 2 [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:754]
Platform: NES
Times completed: 1
Notes of play: After a previous attempt playing as various characters (level 5-1 has the most pinpoint platforming which caught me off-guard), played through all levels as Toad.


The original Super Mario Bros. was so simple, that I'm not sure how much could be done with the game (I am yet to play Super Mario Bros. 2 (JPN)) without a total overhaul like this one. On the other hand, the original game made Mario so much fun to control that the comparatively pedestrian momentum of Super Mario Bros. 2 makes the game kind of a drag. Its open areas and converging pathways only serve to further mitigate its inconsequent difficulty and vertically oriented levels bog the pace of the game down as the game pauses to slowly scroll upwards.


What Super Mario Bros. 2 has on its predecessor is primarily exploration. It is a lot of fun to try to find the hidden mushrooms which increase health in each level and the few 1-ups are fun to find\reach. Unfortunately, because the game is overall not very difficult, those mushrooms and extra lives are not functionally useful rendering the most entertaining aspect of the game moot. What's more, those extra lives are diluted by red coins (found in any sub-con area with grass) which can each provide 1 to 3 extra lives based upon timing during a post-level roulette mini-game.


The various characters are entertaining in theory, however aside from Peach and Luigi enabling one skip in stage 2-3, I am really not sure why one would not want to play as Toad. Toad runs the fastest, Toad runs even faster when carrying objects, and Toad pulls objects up the fastest when practically everything in the game requires that objects be pulled and thrown; so the concept of characters with varying powers is similarly gratuitous.

Every interesting idea Super Mario Bros. 2 possesses is undone by its own design. Super Mario Bros. 2 ultimately doesn't hold up nearly as well as its predecessor.
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24. Video Game: Maze Lord [Average Rating:8.90 Unranked]
Kenneth Stuart
United States
Hawthorne
California
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Platform: Windows
First time? Yes
Playtime: 5 hours
Enjoyment: moderately high
Completion: 3-star score on every level


This game holds up very well as a non-abstract maze puzzle game. The game contains 120 puzzles for you to solve. New game mechanics are steadily added throughout the course of the game rather than all at once, ensuring that the game is constantly offering a fresh experience.

Levels require you to navigate to the exit in a limited number of moves. The more moves you have remaining when you finish the level, the better score you will earn. There are 24 different maze elements for you to encounter, varying among items, monsters, and maze elements. Some monsters cause more damage than others, some poison you, and others can be killed with items to avoid damage. Health potions will automatically heal you one hit point when needed if you have them in your inventory, but Elixirs require manual consumption to regain full health. Spider webs will cause you to drop the first object in your inventory, but torches can burn spider webs away and allow you to reclaim your dropped items. Keys can be used to unlock doors or chests of gold. The list goes on...

The only maze element that I did not enjoy is the secret passageway aspect. The secret passageways allow you to walk through walls that appear solid, but the only way to know if you can walk through a wall is to click on each and every wall in the level. This is time consuming and requires you to play the level two or three times just to be able to check every wall and find where the passages are before you can correctly solve the puzzle. Thankfully the levels prompt you if they have secret passageways so you don't need to worry about always checking for secrets that may not exist.

Should you ever encounter a puzzle that is just too difficult for you to solve, fear not! The game offers a few avenues to ease your puzzle-solving woes. You earn gems from completing levels and the gems can be used to give your hero additional moves if you take too many steps reaching the exit, or you can use gems to revive your hero if you happen to die before finishing the level. The game also provides scrolls that you can use to make the puzzle a little easier. The scrolls allow you to unlock a random door, add a coin to a level, give you an extra hit point, or kill a random monster. Gems can be used to purchase additional scrolls if you ever run out.

I enjoyed the game and certainly recommend it to any puzzle fans. I did not find any of the puzzles terribly difficult. I was able to get a 3-star rating on every level without using any guides, many of them on my first attempt (but I admit I used scrolls for a few of them). The learning curve is perfect, starting off easy and ramping up difficulty at an appropriate pace as you progress through the 120 levels. It's fun, it's cheap, and it offers several hours of enjoyment.

Note: you can play this game for free online if you'd rather not buy it on Steam. Just google it.
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25. Video Game: Limbo [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:213]
Jan
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Platform: PC
First time beaten: No, third time
Time to beat: 4 hours

I love replaying Limbo once a year. Turns out that I did not replay it last year so I decided to replay it at the beginning of this year. I'm still amazed at the puzzles as I keep forgetting how some work. I kept dying a lot. But in general it felt a bit easier this year at least.
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