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

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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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Popular Tags: VGG:What-Played [+] [View All]
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26. Video Game: American Truck Simulator [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked]
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
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Platform: PC
Duration: 38h
Times completed: First

ATS has a Christmas package hauling special event for free dlc (still 10 days to go), so it was time to get back in the driver's seat. It was a good time to do so, as I hadn't played since Arizona released, and the world scale was increased.

Because of the rescale, all my previous 'road driven' progress was reset, so I visited every city, and finished every driving achievement. The world isn't fully explored, lots of side roads and dead ends to get to, but I'll save some of that for next time I play.

It's always fun to sit back, put on the in-game radio (Love the Eagle Classic Rock channel), grab my G27 wheel and drive. The rescale has definitely improved the game, the onramps of most places are so much better, lots of left turn lights to help make those tough turns, and Arizona really helps stretch out the land mass.

Still, it gets repetitive after a few dozen hours. So many trips are back and forth on the I40 to/from Arizona. And there just aren't any other roads you can take if you're moving east/west. The game still needs more states, and more importantly, more different trucks to fully engage the driver.



Platform: PC
Duration: 24h
Times completed: Second

ATS is having another special event, this time hauling 300K pounds worth of double long trailers around. And with New Mexico just released, it was a good opportunity to explore the new state.

I'd never driven any double length trailers before, it's really different than usual. Just getting connected up and out of the starting lot was sometimes challenging, as you often couldn't just back up to the trailer, not enough room. Or your trailer would be parked right next to another one, and would hit it if you tried to turn to go out the exit.

Driving in a straight line is fine, no issues there, but turning right is often an adventure as you're so long. So I spent a lot of time in the oncoming lanes doing wide swings on turns.

Backing up is nigh impossible. With two joints, the 1st trailer directly behind the truck simply swings left or right out of line, and you just can't keep everything in control. I pride myself on parking set to difficult, but with doubles, it's simple or skip.

New Mexico is well done, but still suffers from the 'not as enjoyable as ETS2' syndrome. During this playthrough, I realized this is mostly because of the map design. In the US maps, almost every single freeway goes right through the small towns or cities. So you're constantly going from high speeds down to 25 or 30, and red light after red light to get through every town. It's simply impossible to bypass these.

Whereas in Europe, most cities have separate access roads to enter them, so you blast past Dortmund or Hamburg etc at full speed on your way to London. Yes, sometimes you want the scenic route, but in the US maps, staying at full speed is never an option. The maps should be designed so that freeways stay full speed, and you have to take an exit to reach the slow 'in city' roads and speeds.
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27. Video Game: Thomas Was Alone [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:698]
Rudy
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No too far from Philly
Pennsylvania
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I beat a solo game!!!

Matt recommended this to me, and Jan echoed his recommendation, since it was short. I figured it would be good to try to play games by myself again. It took about 3 hours for the story and then just a few minutes to 100% it. It's not difficult and the story is fun enough for what it is.

The controls slowly went crazy for me and I did not realize it at first. It would push the blocks to the left and made jumping really hard. I played at least 30 minutes like this before I restarted the game, which fixed that issue.
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28. Video Game: Reigns [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:3997]
Dario Delfino
Italy
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So the first game I have beaten this year is REIGNS, straight from my hardcore videogame challenge list

My vote: 6/10
Time needed: 9 hours

I enjoyed very much the first 2 hours of the game, another hour was good and another one was average... the more I played it the less interesting it got. Eventually I played it just to get the good ending, but wasn't that much fun. Overall it's worth playing but I was hoping for something way better.

The game idea is cool: you have two choices and each one has some good consequences and some bad consequences. Some of them are just immediate stuff, some other will lead to more choices and more consequences. It's challenging to get the right balance and it's easy to lose. The story is somehow nice, I loved the main idea (no spoiler) but wasn't enough for the great experience I was hoping for.

+ Cool idea
+ Fun at first

- Eventually boring
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29. Video Game: Super Mario 3D Land [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:549]
Kevin Gordon
United States
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Idaho
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Super Mario 3D Land - Nintendo 3DS

Probably my third time playing through the first 8 worlds

I started this game again a few days ago because I wanted to see how it compares to Super Mario 3D World. I loved both of these games, but hadn't played 3D Land in a while. I loved it almost as much as my first time through it. I think 3D World takes it by a little, but these two are far and away my favorite Mario games of all time.

I'm going to continue playing through the special worlds. I'm planning on getting all 5 stars again. Not an easy task, but the game is just so much fun. Seriously, anyone who hasn't played this, go play it right away. But do it on a 3DS, not a 2DS. The 3D aspect in the game really makes a big difference.
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30. Video Game: What's Under Your Blanket!? [Average Rating:3.50 Unranked]
Kennan Ward
United States
Idaho
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Completed: What's Under Your Blanket!?
Platform: PC

Masturbate without being caught to train for your arm wrestling competitions (I guess) by quickly clicking the mouse over your character in bed and during arm wrestling and stop in time to avoid being caught. Both amusing and painful.

https://twitter.com/Legolas_Katarn/status/816859828664422400


Thanks to seneca29 for sending it to me.
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31. Video Game: The Last Guardian [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:2653]
Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
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Platform: PS4
Time to beat: Not a clue. 30 hours? 20?
First time: yep
Enjoyment: Extremely high, clouded by issues.

(I am a bit annoyed at the uninspiring title of this game in English. In Japanese, it's called The man-eating giant eagle Trico.

To avoid double-post, here's my thoughts that I wrote in my 2017 gaming diary.
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32. Video Game: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:2411]
Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
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Platform: PS4
Time to beat: Not a clue. 7 hours? 5? 10?
First time: Yep.

To avoid double-post here is my comment that I posted in my 2017 gaming diary.
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33. Video Game: The Last Guardian [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:2653]
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Platform: PS4

Clocktime: About 12 hours.

Completion: Got the normal ending. Don't know if there is a special ending like in Ico. Not surprisingly, average completion for the trophy list is extremely low. I got a few of them, like Broadbacked and Losing Their Minds. A little annoyed I didn't get Intensive Care. Never in a million years would I replay this for All Talked Out, so Platinum is off the table.

Commentary: There's one great idea at the core of The Last Guardian, so perhaps it's not surprising that only one part of it is great. The relationship between the lost boy and the majestic creature Trico develops into something moving and memorable - something with real emotional weight. As a denizen of videogames, Trico is nothing short of remarkable. I've never seen AI like this... he feels like a companion with his own sense of being; predictable in a broad sense, but as a familiar & affectionate animal would be, and not as a straightforward set of subroutines boosting you along. I often found myself chatting with Trico (talking to my television) as we explored. "So what are we doing?," I might inquire as we both poked around different ends of a room. I would laugh at him when he got his head stuck in a window or doorway, reassure him as he nervously watched me climb precarious structures, and immediately check him for minor wounds after battle. As you come to depend on one another, Trico grows fonder and more protective of the boy, and you really feel his distress when the boy is in danger. There's some interesting layers to the relationship in the lore as well, but that would take us into spoiler territory.


Trico nervously watching in case you fall.


While we're on the subject of Trico, I want to dispel the myth that he's difficult to "control." For the most part, reviews for The Last Guardian are full of crap (praise and criticism alike), and many of them gripe that Trico is capricious and unresponsive. The idea is there is often a lag between when you figure out what to do and when you get Trico to do it. I never experienced this. I'm fairly convinced that it reflects badly on the people who did experience it. If you accept that you control the lost boy, and that Trico is watchful and will follow your lead, everything flows together naturally. If you're in such a hurry that you want to switch back and forth between direct control of both protagonists, you've already shortchanged yourself.

So, Trico is great. Taken as the core of the game, I'd give him a 9/10.

The Last Guradian overall, though, is a mess. Despite 10 years of work and widespread hero worship for Ueda, I don't think the problems are complicated, nor do I think it's difficult to guess at why the developers ended up in a quagmire.

At the outset, there's no 'hook' and no sense of predicament. Ico and SotC are both famous for the way the set things in motion. The Last Guardian goes a different route, withholding any glimmer of understanding about what's going on until at least half-way through, when it dumps a flashback on you that could just as easily have been the opening scene. By the time you reach the end, you understand why Ueda wants to keep you in the dark, but the damage far outweighs the meager endgame payoff. SotC would pretty much be the textbook example of how to have it both ways.

So, you wake up next to Trico, you have no idea what's going on, no frame of reference for where you are, and end up exploring aimlessly together, with the vague sense that 'up' is the way out. As you move from one space to the next, none of it feels coherent, which is astonishing given the dev-team's previous work. Each room and clearing feels aesthetically adrift, superficially done in Team Ico's style, but all jumbled together. In fact, the only time the gameworld feels at all like a planned space is when you get so high up that you can see most of the valley, and then it looks like a sketch from some concept art. Scale-wise, I suspect that Ueda's ambitions were along the lines of Dark Souls - a seamlessly crafted world where the 'skybox' vistas were almost always real, reachable places. But in reality, The Last Guardian feels cramped and soulless indoors, while being diluted outdoors by Trico's leaps-and-bounds mobility. I don't mean to say that Team Ico's artistic talent isn't on display. More like: it feels like the faucet was left on and it flooded the house. They did a lot of work under questionable direction. In other words: the definition of development hell.


Indoors, the game is plodding at best, tedious at worst.


Bottom line: don't let anyone tell you that this "feels" like Ico or SotC. Those games had tightly constructed premises and a clear, manageable scope (and let us remember that Ueda had to settle for 16 Colossi when he originally wanted 48). I suspect the PS3 itself was the undoing of Team Ico, in the sense that Ueda took Sony's marketing at face value. It's easy for me to believe that, with the PS2 in the rearview mirror, Ueda honestly believed that he didn't have to deal with technical constraints anymore, that geographical and architectural scope could be treated as secondary to what he really had in mind, which was Trico. The Last Guardian benefits relatively little from being as "big" as it is, asset-wise, but you can bet the team overwhelmed itself and then got lost in its own morass.

All that said, what really stifles the potential in The Last Guardian is that virtually nothing you do to progress is interesting. Again, given the Ico/SotC pedigree, that leaves me dumbfounded. Ico is nothing short of a brilliant puzzle game, almost entirely through it's use of space and level design. In SotC, space is more about immersion, but each habitat is meticulously crafted, and the way they form a compelling geography in a 'forbidden land' is masterfully done. The Colossi themselves provide substantial mental hurdles as you figure out each fight. By contrast, progress through The Last Guardian is unrelentingly pedestrian. Rarely do you reach an area where you think, "oooh, this is really cool, let's try to figure this out!" Tasks are invariably basic. Perform a couple of steps, move onto the next room or open area. Even stuff I liked, such having Trico catapult you on an improvised sea-saw, is super obvious.

I know it seems like I'm piling on at this point, but we have a little ways to go still. For longterm narrative purposes, The Last Guardian is a game that isn't afraid to wipe out lots of your progress in cutscenes. I think it does this to create the feeling that the lost boy and Trico strive together only to be dealt major setbacks, after which they dust themselves off, and try try again. I can respect that there's a certain payoff there. But I already felt disengaged for a variety of reasons, and smacking me back down to earth (literally) seemed... gratuitous... maybe even cocky. Almost like the developers were above creating a game with any sense of reward. Or, more likely, they went out of their way to destroy any traditional notions of progress so that you'd focus solely on your growing relationship with Trico.


Outdoors, brief moments of wonder carry the experience.


My last issue with the Last Guardian is the only one that's probably Sony's fault and probably an eleventh-hour "fix" made in 2015-2016. I'm referring to the game's appalling habit of displaying tutorial-like controller layouts almost any time you need to do anything. Apparently, before the 1.03 patch, the controller prompts were literally there for 100% of tasks, but even now they are ubiquitous and continually diminish your sense of immersion. You can't turn them off, even if you are playing the game for the second or third time. What these reminders amount to is a vote of no confidence in the underlying game design, a conviction that the player will frequently forget, or never fully acclimate to, the controls. I've seen this before in canceled-and-resurrected games, specifically in Remember Me, which had such poor level design that they added "go here" waypoints marking your way through the entire game, just before releasing it.

I never resented the time I spent with The Last Guardian. There's a low hum of enjoyment as you explore and try to determine 'what happened' to Ueda and his team. Trico is marvelous. But in several ways that matter, The Last Guardian is thoroughly mediocre game. Some reviewers will tell you that games just used to be like this, or that The Last Guardian would have been deemed a classic in 2010 (5 years after SotC). Don't believe them. Others will tell you what you want to hear: that Ueda is the most talented creative director in gaming, he can do no wrong, and The Last Guardian is the hardwon fruit of 10 years work. Don't believe them either. Ueda is human, and what happened to him is actually an old story in the world of art, not a new one.

6/10
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34. Video Game: Snakebird [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:5978]
Chris
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Platform: PC
Completion: 100% (including finding all clickable props)
Time: 14 hours (plus some on mobile)
Time Completed: First
Enjoyment: High - Very High

Look, I love puzzles OK?

Some puzzle games can be Portal or Talos Principle, with a story and characters and a world of verisimilitude to explore, with continuous advancement and etc. etc.

And some are Snakebird. Just you and a puzzle, and make it as hard as humanly possible.

This game gives you mechanics that seem incredibly simple, and make the hardest puzzles they can manage with them. Things that look impossible, or things that you constantly almost get until you realize you don't know how to get back to where you started. Things to twist your brain with for quite some time. While some of them will use some of the same tricks, after the first few, they are all unique, nasty piles of headaches that will really rile you up.

But you know. In the good way! if you like that kind of puzzle. Which I do. (see above)

But it also has a wonderful amount of polish that really makes it a joy to play. The music is not too cloying, not too midi-ish, and just subtle and ambient enough that it doesn't grate on the nerves even after hearing it for a long time. The bright colors are pleasant and make the pieces and goals abundantly, painfully clear. The snakebirds have a little personality, beak gaping in hunger when you are near a fruit, trembling in fear when next to deadly spikes, and frowning in disappointment every time you fail to bring it to its rightful meal. The environments also have some nice background action, be it clouds and birds passing by or a giant octopus having a peek in on your progress. And if you are at a point where you just don't know what to do, you can always click in on several things in the environment which often behave in an arbitrarily goofy fashion.

And lastly, its interface and controls are extremely streamlined and well made. You can turn a helpful grid on or off to see how many blocks there are between you and your goal. You can jump in and out of puzzles easily if it gets too tough, and, mercy of mercies, they give you an undo button! While it can be a little tedious if you go far (and at that point probably better to restart anyway), it is just so important. It saves every move you've made, and if you lose a bird, it restarts you at the previous move, with your undos still intact. It's very helpful. But there's not much trial and error (except very occasionally when you're first learning the mechanics). Once you understand how it works, you'll know the consequences of your actions. This game was very well designed.

Recommended if you like super hard puzzles.
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35. Video Game: Alone With You [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
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Platform: PS4

Clocktime: About 8 hours.

Completion: As for the ending, I chose to commit to Winnie and then to escape the planet. I found all of the schematics at Colony B and scanned all of the plantlife in the Agro-Domes. Somewhat unexpectedly, I did not find all of the 'mementos' in the Caves, and the game did not register me piecing together the story of Matsuko and Dale, which may be a bug. I did locate every body.

Technically speaking, there are four other endings, but practically speaking there is only one that is significantly different. I'm not sure if I will put in the time for these.


World map showing different facilities at the ruined terraforming colony.


Commentary: I'm not sure I'm being fair to this game.

For about 95% of the journey, my enjoyment hummed along at a steady "medium high." I immediately felt drawn into the world as the last remaining survivor at a terraforming outpost that has suffered an earthquake. The visual style is perfectly executed. The music wonderfully recalls the best of a bygone era in gaming. A lot of craft and care went into Alone With You.

The structure of the game is simple but effective: an AI manages to keep a few chambers at Colony A functioning, and coordinates your objectives as you gather parts and supplies necessary to launch a mostly-in-tact escape ship. Key to the game is a "holo-sim" room that allows you to talk to holographic 'copies' of the four most important crew-members, all missing and presumed dead. If you travel to the Comms Relay area on the world map, then at the end of the day you can consult with the holographic copy of that facility's director. The same goes for the director of the Agro-Dome (essentially, chief botonist / manager of the food supply), the engineer presiding over mining (fuel production), and the director of station at large.


Most exploration occurs in isometric environments with this retro-pixel style.


Each facility you visit is basically in ruins. Exploration in each area is driven both by a functional goal (locating parts/supplies) and a narrative goal (piece together what happened to everyone after the earthquake). The storytelling through the medium of the environment is often more interesting than finding the thing of the moment, but ongoing dialogue with the AI does lend a certain edge to the "get in, get out, come home" routine. You feel as if time is running out.

Alone With You steers clear of any meaty puzzle-solving. But it does engage the player both with a sense of thoroughness ("did I find each room?") and occasionally the need to locate a password or key item. Personally I think the game could have asked more of its players during "missions," but I respect that the developers wanted an 'adventure lite' visual novel.

However, because the game keeps it light as you progress through each level, it builds up expectations for its multiple endings. By the end of week 1, you can tell that Alone With You will follow in the footsteps of dozens of games (999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Heavy Rain, etc) that tie endings to major NPCs. The problem is that reaching any of the five endings feels like 90% of the experience, and even if you load a back-up to avoid replaying the first third of the game, replaying the second two-thirds with a different focus feels almost identical. There's no fast-forward feature for already-seen content, which is standard for the genre.


Dialogue with a holographic character at night between missions.


On the one hand, I'm not sure this matters, because a single playthrough feels complete. But on the other hand, the final note of the game comes across as "oh, nevermind." I'm surprised Ben Rivers felt confident enough to release the game as-is. One way or another, it needed edits to pull it back to two endings from five, or it needed differentiation between the five with a fast-forward feature.

I recommend Alone With You to fans of old-school adventure games and visual novels. It's charming and carefully crafted, but falls a bit short of its aspirations.

7/10
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36. Video Game: Space Channel 5 [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:5268]
Platform: Dreamcast
Times completed: 1
Notes of play: My secondhand Dreamcast's laser is giving out on me. The game relies upon a very intensive video streaming process that caused the game to soft-lock several times during play.

Space Channel 5 is a wacky rhythm game wherein rather than anything reasonable like dancing or playing an instrument you battle the dance-crazed morolians (get it? like melody? I thought it was supposed to be like melody, anyway).

The game always performs in a "call and response" fashion. The game tells you what buttons to push, in what order, and with what timing and then you do so. This immediately creates a plodding pace, not helped at all by a narrator constantly reminding you to "Push the A button when they say 'shoot!'" Further there are many mini-boss dance sequences which commonly offer no visual indicator for the buttons which need to be pressed, making the game feel like a rhythm-based Simple Simon so slow-paced you would swear the battery was dying. Without any on-screen indicators of what buttons to press, the fact that you must play rhythmically is made to necessarily feel arbitrary.

All of these annoyances would certainly have added up over time, but the game features only four levels that are about 15 minutes each for a little over 1 hour of play time-- which is its own problem. It is weird, pitifully short, and honestly not very much fun. You have to hope the concept of a "news channel battling dancing aliens" is enough to carry you through the game.
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Rudy
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No too far from Philly
Pennsylvania
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This game was recommended to me (in my thread) and is along the lines of The Stanley Parable. You walk around and interact with things while someone else talks. It's free on Steam and only takes 30 minutes. I rather enjoyed it and it certainly made me smile a lot.

If you have a few minutes, I recommend that you give it a go and play through it really quick. Then, after you played through the game once, go take a look at the achievements and try to get them without any walkthroughs. I am about to go play through it for the third time.

Edit: Got 100%!
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38. Video Game: ABZÛ [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:2207]
Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
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First time. Time: ~2 hrs

I thought this would be a game I enjoyed based on what little I saw about it before buying it, and I have to say the game pleasantly surprised me. The environments are beautiful, creative, and interesting. The story is vague and cryptic, and at first I thought there wasn't going to be much of an overarching story to the game, but I was really surprised in how much I enjoyed the direction that the game started to take. Some of the sequences were very cool experiences;
Spoiler (click to reveal)
swimming with whales, swimming with massive schools of fish, riding the jetstreams, exploring ancient ruins, seeing various ancient sea life, teaming up with shark bro to destroy the pyramid stuff.
The controls are very sloppy to say the least, but fortunately there is no rush to get anywhere and no way to get killed. The gameplay itself is extremely simple and straightforward, I recommend it if it even remotely looks like the kind of thing you would enjoy.
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Kenneth Stuart
United States
Hawthorne
California
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Playtime: 1 hr
First time? No, second
Enjoyment: High

Rudy was playing through this, so I decided to join him and we talked while we progressed through the game. I missed 3 achievements when I played last year and Rudy also missed the same 3 achievements on his first play, so we set out to get 100% on the game. It took us 2 or 3 attempts, but we got it!

This is a game about a heist. A robber is attempting to steal an emerald from a huge mansion. The robber cloaks his approach by hiding in the shadows of cypress trees and the cover of a thunder storm, but he has to avoid guards, a tiger in the garden, and some strange voices that seem to be coming from behind the elevator wall.

You should play this game if you've not played it before. It takes about 20 minutes to complete the heist and I'm sure you'll enjoy every bit of it.
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40. Video Game: Elder Sign: Omens [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:276] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Kat Tastrophy
United States
Alexandria
VA
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Platform: Andriod (tablet)
Time to Beat: 1:20 hr
First time: FIRST WIN EVER!
Enjoyment: 6/10

What I liked... Enjoy the board game but never one any session on the tabletop so I dusted off the app to get my brain prepared for the cardboard version. I like the flow of gameplay and the Mythos themed graphics were eye appealing.

+ Appealing graphics and theme
+ Flows well for each turn when no-video option is on

What I disliked... I turned the videos off in OPTIONS right at the beginning because it drags the game on and puts my brain in pause waiting for the next segment/player turn. The transition from cardboard to digital version was not smooth in how the dice roll/discard interface is as well as intuitively knowing what to click where for what action in the game. Definitely have to go through the tutorial to get an idea how the interface layouts the items you would find in the tabletop layout.

- Video becomes more interruptive than appealing
- Interface is not intuitive coming from tabletop version

Will I play it again... Yes, definitely more enthusiastic about keeping this game on my devices and playing it when I get that Mythos itch.
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41. Video Game: Vigilante [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Luke Jaconetti
United States
Simpsonville
South Carolina
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Vigilante via DrSMS on Game Boy Advance
Time: .5 hours

Was playing around loading some Master System games onto my GBA via DrSMS, and loaded this old favorite from childhood. (For what it is worth I still have my SMS and this game, so I feel no pangs about emulating it.) We were the household which had a Master System instead of an NES, so I to this day have a huge amount of affection for the classic SMS.

Anyway, this was one which I beat as a kid and it was fun to run through it again. The best tip I can give is jump over as many of the Chokeholds as you can, it helps you to avoid getting double teamed. Fun arcade beat em up, but short at only 5 levels... Still, fun as heck to beat again for the first time in at probably 25 years!
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42. Video Game: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:103]
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Platform: PC
Duration: 16h
Times completed: First

Woohoo! It's motherf'ing Uncharted, on a PC! I got a Dualshock 4 controller for Christmas with the intent of playing this, and I'm glad I did.

Overall, I really enjoyed the game. I found this game quite tough, I don't believe there's auto aim. I just couldn't see to get the position of the crosshair right, I'd move it too far one way, back too far the other way. I tried adjusting the controller sensitivity in settings, but it didn't seem to make much difference. I'm glad I choose Easy mode right from the beginning.

The game has an excellent checkpoint system, it really helped avoid re-doing large parts of game over and over. Some sections took me a dozen tries, but the game 95% of the time started me over just before the section I was having trouble with. A few times, it even checkpointed me in the middle of a big battle, so I didn't have to deal with the first wave of baddies again.

I do think they overdid the combat though, as if they didn't trust the exploration and platforming to maintain interest, so toss in more baddies shooting at you. This gets especially stupid at times, as you go into a library and discover a secret passage, or explore a thousand year old tomb, and wham, dozens of bad guys are already in there waiting for you. Really? I just used my secret map and book and deciphered runes and clues to find it, and everybody else already knows?

I found 53/60 hidden treasures, and 290 medal points, whatever that is. I was a little annoyed that they don't start the game with a drop dead easy treasure right in front of you, so that you know what to look for. I missed the first few not knowing they even existed, that something was possible to hunt for. And once I'd found the first one, it was impossible to go back to previous areas and look, because it locks you out.

Overall, I'm really impressed with the PS Now service. The graphics look excellent to me, I was expecting much worse considering what I've read. I'll definitely subscribe for a month or two to play all the games I'm interested in.

I did have some small issues with the client. The game ran fine for hours at a time, but the psnow app gets a connection error on exit almost every time. I never lost any info though. Restarting the app didn't do anything, I had to reboot Windows before I could see the game list again.

Some times the app doesn't have My List of tagged favourite games, as if it's forgotten them. There also doesn't appear to be a search function, which seems crazy to me. You know you want to play game X, but have to scroll through thousands of titles and multiple categories looking for it manually?!
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43. Video Game: Splatoon [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:855]
Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
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Platform: Wii U
What was "beaten"? Single-player mode
Enjoyment: High
Time to complete: Not the slightest clue. I can see how many hours I've been playing this, but no idea what the single-player took. 10 hours? 20?

Did a session of Splatoon for the first time in like 18 months, and after some 5 matches, switched to the single-player mode and saw that I hadn't beaten it; had a few stages left. So I finished it.

The single-player mode isn't bad at all, actually. The multiplayer is as fun as ever. Almost as fun as Rocket League.
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44. Video Game: RIVE [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
Bob Flaherty
United States
Loves Park
Illinois
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Game: RIVE
Platform: PC
Time: 7 hours
1st game in my 2017 hardcore challenge

Well, I started out 2017 with a doozie! RIVE is a difficult platform, twin-stick shooter mash-up. Difficult is relative, but it certainly was for me (on normal) and many reviews mention that it is a challenge. Ultimately, I finished the campaign in just over five hours with 380 deaths:


Despite this and RAGE quitting several times, I did have a good time. In my mind, this is a very polished game. The graphics fit the game's humor, slightly cartoony but serious. Controls take a while to get used to but respond well. And, though I did struggle I never felt like the game was unfair.

In this game, you play a scavenger named Roughshot who pilots a spider drone. This vehicle has 360 degree range of motion on its turrets allowing shots to be fired in all directions. In your escapades, your land on a decrepit spaceship being run by a lonely robot who has been creating sentient robots that are just a tad bit dangerous.

There are 12 different levels that are well designed. You have lava levels and water levels. Additionally, you get sent out in space a couple of times for some standard shooting. The enemies are all types of robots and are varied in attack requiring different tactics to beat them. Many, but not all, of the levels end with a boss fight.

Interestingly, the spaceship is equipped with an upgrade station that is able to upgrade your ship. You can add four different special weapons (heat seeking missiles, a short range blaster (ie shotgun), one that shoots out a bunch of balls that ricochet off everything, and a Tesla weapon that stuns enemies), upgrade your armor as well as your magnet for picking up loot. Loot comes in the form of nuts and bolts that fall out of destroyed enemies. To use your special weapons, you pick up a weapon crate. However, you can only carry one. This is probably a balance thing, but crates get dropped quite frequently.

The other neat mechanic is that your ship is equipped with a hack beam. This allows you to initially hack into security systems to open doors. As the game progresses, you find bits of code on the ship that allows you to hack specific enemies. Gun turrets will follow you around and shoot when you do. Nurse drones will heal you.

For me the game was frustrating because most of the enemies are kamikazes. They swarm you and usually when you have to do a precise bit of platforming. There are a couple of timed runs where lava is chasing you. And others where you need to stay on a moving platform across electricity or lava.

As I said, I thought it was difficult but powered through. I would recommend it for anyone who likes platform or twin-stick shooter games. However, keep in mind it is not a cake walk.

I had an enjoyable time as I have had with nearly all of Two Tribes games. It is sad that this was their last game as a studio. Hopefully, the studio can be resurrected in some form to produce some new games.
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45. Video Game: SteamWorld Dig [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1497]
フィル
Australia
Ashfield
NSW
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Steam / Mac version, 6.3 hours. First playthrough.

This was promoted as a Metroidvania, but it isn't really, as there's no backtracking required until the last 15 minutes of the game. It's really a sort of downward platformer with character upgrades and the odd Dig Dug moment. I had fun playing through it, and it was short enough that the simplicity didn't become boring. Looks like there's a new game+ too? Anyhoo, worth playing if you are in the mood for a low stress thing.
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46. Video Game: The Cave [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1932]
Kevin Brown
United States
Parker
Colorado
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XB1 via Xbox 360 Backwards compatibility.
15 hours played.
First time completed.
18/27 achievements.
Hardcore challenge game!

The game design has 6 levels (2 of which are bookend levels that involve no real puzzles) with 3 more levels interspersed among them that are specific levels for the 3 characters that form the party, for a total of 9 level per play through. There are a total 7 characters available. I Completed the game with all 7 characters which involved 3 complete play throughs. Each character has a unique ability that figures prominently into their character specific levels. The Knight can make himself invulnerable, the Hillbilly can swim indefinitely underwater, the Adventurer can swing from hooks with a whip, the Monk has Telekinesis, etc. Second play though was easier than the first since I only had to figure out the character puzzles for three new characters, the generic Cave levels stayed the same. Third play through was easier yet as I had only had to figure out one character's specific puzzles and the other two characters and generic Cave puzzles stayed the same.

The Cave is a platform puzzler by the creator of Secret of Monkey Island. I didn't realize it was imagined by Ron Gilbert before playing it and find it funny that I played two Ron Gilbert games back to back as part of my hardcore challenge. Anyways, it's not much of a platformer. The 2D side scrolling platform action in the game is absolutely not challenging and is not the driving force behind the game. The platforming is very easy and is intended to convey you to the puzzles. Conceptually, this is not a point and click, it is a very easy platformer informed by point and click sensibilities in a item use/application setting. I suppose that doesn't make much sense. You control a party of three characters. Each charter can carry a single item. That single item may or may not be used at locations to solve puzzles. Pick up item, carry it around, do some super mild platforming, solve puzzles that are based off of item usage and character swapping (timed and untimed). Doesn't make much more sense but it's the best I can do.

Good game. Not fantastic, but enjoyable enough. The narrator is genuinely amusing which is something I think is rare. Humor in video games is typically a fail for me. Not in this case. Definitely chuckle worthy at times. The humor is certainly a bit dark at times (many jokes and quips involves murder as the characters are not very savory types giving in to their dark desires) so it's probably not everyone's thing.

Best story: the Knight. I found this one genuinely funny in a gallows way. This was on my first play through so it probably benefited from a bit of freshness. The more I played the less amusing I found the character story arcs.

Best puzzles: The Scientist and the Adventurer. Both were pretty easy but represented a challenge in their own way. Scientist puzzles were a bit more thinky, putting clues together to achieve your goal. Adventurer puzzles were more timing related and represented a completely different challenge requiring swapping between characters to achieve goals.

Toughest puzzle: The Time Traveller. Not insanely hard but required a bit more thinking as it involves visiting the same location in three different time periods and actions in an earlier time period impacting the reality of a later time period.

Most aggravating puzzle: The Monk. Lotus blossoms drove me insane. I suffered from impatience.

Worst puzzles: The Monk. Just so damn annoying.

Worst story: The Hillbilly. Ugh. Just didn't care. Didn't help that this was the last character arc I played through and was done with the game by this point and was just playing the Hillbilly so I could call the game done. But even at that, the Hillbilly lacked the creativity and humor of the other 6 characters. Lacked the originality as well.

Overall I'd put my initial enjoyment of the Cave on par with Limbo, but dropping off with each of the subsequent three play throughs required to play all the characters. Second play through was okay, third play through was going through the motions to finish the game. I thought the puzzles and humor were much better than Limbo, but the overall atmosphere and design worse. Limbo had a cleaner exit, finish once and be done. Didn't have much of a resolution, but still done. You could replay or move on to something else, your choice. The finish of the Cave became tedious, with having to play through the game three times to play as each character. Limbo is a masterpiece of game deign with visuals and play informing the gameplay in a natural progression without any tutorial or hand holding. The Cave suffered from some minor design issues. Not much handholding but there was a fair amount of needless back tracking. The backtracking didn't vex me to the extent of Secret of Monkey Island, but it created dead spots in the game play that essentially involved replicating mechanical game play movements without progressing gameplay or story at all. I feel there needed to be a 'follow' command for the three characters. This way the character that player is controlling would have been pantomime followed by the other two characters that were not being directly controlled. Often the player has to move one character forward through the game world, switch characters and move the second character through the game world, and then switch characters again and move the third character through the game world. A 'follow' button would have gone a long ways to alleviate this tedium. Every moment of Limbo moved Limbo forward to its conclusion and made the game feel tight, focused and driven and lent it a relentless gravity (same for the brilliant follow up Inside). The Cave felt more lackadaisical in comparison, but this may be more fitting a game that focuses on puzzles rather than platforming. Need to mull that over a bit more.

Not a bad game at all. Not fabulous, but rather enjoyable.
Must play? Nope. But if you like point and clicks and platformers, and especially if you like Secret of Monkey Island and games of that ilk, give it a shot.
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47. Video Game: Rise of the Tomb Raider [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:806]
Ian Kelly
United States
Longmont
Colorado
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Platform: PC
Difficulty: Survivor
Completion: 98%
Time taken: ~35 hours
First time beaten? No

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New Zealand
Hamilton
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's recent play of Tomb Raider (2013) to replay this game. His review lamented the need to sometimes switch to modern weapons, to which I commented that the sequel could probably be played using only the bow -- which is just what I did. I also used throwable crafted weapons as well as the axe for melee. The only times I used guns were in the slow mo' segments where the game forces you into a particular weapon for a few seconds. This happens two or three times with the pistol but also once each with the rifle and shotgun when they're first obtained. When I acquired the Compound Bow I switched to that for the extra damage and used it for the rest of the game, but I could easily see playing through with a recurve or horn bow instead.

I only completed 98% because I didn't feel like going around and hunting down the several challenge objects that I missed. Ignoring challenges, my completion was 100%, including the Baba Yaga DLC. I 100-percented the game the first time I played it and that was good enough for me. Strangely I got the achievement "The Chosen Few" this time which means I must have missed it last time despite getting 100%. The only explanation I can come up with is that I must have entered the final crypt but neglected to open the sarcophagus, since I think the game counts crypts in the tally but not specifically the treasure contained within them.
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48. Video Game: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:33]
Pieter
Netherlands
Tilburg
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Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Difficulty: Normal
Time spent: 28 hours

I am no fan of Star Wars, but when Bioware was asked to build a RPG for the Star Wars universe, I had to play it (that was in 2004). And it is an excellent game. It has a good story, interesting characters, a variety of locales and quests, and avoids the trap of making a game "for the fans".

The Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is 14 years old now, and it looks pretty dated. And, to be frank, the gameplay is a bit dated too. The combat has very little tactical decision-making in it; it is all about bringing the best weapons and armor that you can get, and keeping the health of your characters up until you have defeated the enemy. If there is a Force-user among the enemies, then it may help to prepare with a few Force powers yourself, but that's about it. So you have to play this one for the story and the interaction with the companions.

I played most of the game with Jolee Bindo and Mission Vao as companions. I know that most players will form a team of Jedis only, but that is not needed; the other characters work well too, and Mission in particular is very handy to bring along because she has so many skill points. Jolee is just fun. I also took Zaalbar on quite a few missions, and, of course, Carth in the beginning of the game (as there is no one else). Because I was relying on Jolee and Mission, I had to play a Light Side game, but I found myself to be mostly neutral near the game's end.

The ending of the game is pretty weak. The big bad Lord Malak turns out to be a "Mwuhaha" villain, and both he and his second-in-command just HAD to say "Noooo! This is impossible! I am invincible!" The hero's welcome at the end is stupid as hell, and clearly based on the same scene at the end of "A New Hope". Couldn't they have come up with something a bit less cringe-worthy? Still, it's a good game overall, and if you do not know the story it has some nice surprises.

However: I replayed Obsidian's sequel The Sith Lords last year, and by Jove that game is so much better than KOTOR. Obsidian improved so much -- they got rid of the evil villain, allowed characters to switch alignments and even roles, and overall had a bunch of REALLY interesting companions by which those of the first game are just bland. Basically, only Bastila has an interesting arc in KOTOR, while The Sith Lords has Atton, HK-47 (yes, he is in the first game too, but he only gets an arc in the sequel), Handmaiden, Visas, and the all-around best Star Wars character ever devised: Kreia (yes, she outshines even Darth Vader).

But if you want to play The Sith Lords, then my advice is to play KOTOR first, as some story carries over -- moreover, you should install the Restored Content Mod, otherwise it will become a huge disappointment. Not so for KOTOR, that game is cool without any mods at all.

Recommended? Well... as I said, it is a bit dated. It is a good experience, but I can imagine people dumping it because there are definitely more modern games that do the same thing. For example, you could play Mass Effect. The first Mass Effect game feels so much like Knights of the Old Republic that it is uncanny. But KOTOR is cheaply available, plays in about 30 hours, and runs on virtually any computer. So if you are looking for a Star Wars RPG that does not suck, then KOTOR is probably the way to go.
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49. Video Game: Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:1889]
Kennan Ward
United States
Idaho
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Completed: Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
Platform: PC

Shadow Tactics Blades of the Shogun will play in a very similar way to people who have played the Commandos series or Desperados Wanted Dead or Alive. It's a top down stealth based game that allows you to control five different characters, each with different passive and active abilities. Each of the 13 missions will have you controlling anywhere from 2-5 of the game's characters allowing them the ability to design missions around certain characters strengths or allowing each to contribute in different sections. Every mission has nine activities you can complete to earn a badge and three different difficulty settings, these don't unlock any new gameplay features but can give you a reason to try out certain missions with different playstyles or cause you to limit yourself to make the game more challenging. The game has good production values with some nice looking maps, good voice acting, a good soundtrack, and I only ran into a bug twice (one that caused a patrol to get stuck and one that prevented a badge from unlocking). There is more of a story to the game than Commandos offers, more like Desperados with the characters having more personality. The character personalities are shown more in the actual gameplay as well with them having different lines of dialogue based on the situation, time of day, or weather. One of the only negatives is that three of the characters have the same passive skills, one just has less passive skills, each has their primary weapon as an ability, and all of them share two of their five abilities (a gun with limited ammo and a healing item). Though each character only has three unique abilities they might have more options available, four of the characters can change their melee attack to be nonlethal, two abilities allow you to have new actions once used, and a grenade weapon one character uses can be switched between explosive or a non lethal gas. One of my favorite games of 2016 and one fans of the games it is based on or fans of stealth games should play.

https://twitter.com/Legolas_Katarn/status/807316743823593472
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50. Video Game: Braid [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:145]
Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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Platform: PC
First time beaten: Yes
Time to beat: 8 hours

This game has been on my to play list for quit a time and it is actually a alternative on my to challenge list. But somehow I was in the mood for this game and I fired it up.

I had no idea what I was doing, so I picked up the pieces I could and just ran through the levels. After playing it for some time I still had no idea what I was doing so I read up a bit and found out I needed to solve these puzzles. Well I like puzzle games but I must admit that I'm not the best at them. So I did what I could but then also used some help from you tube from time to time. Turns out I was most of the time on the good track but was missing a little thing. Or stupidly forget about a thing.

I did have some problems getting passed the final level, with the fire behind me but I kept trying and trying. Man that was a hard one. But I succeeded.
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