Game Completion 2018 #17 – Bayonetta 2

  • Game: Bayonetta 2
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Platinum
  • Publisher: Nintendo/SEGA

Much like with the original, I’ve ran through this game a few times before, so won’t say much more other than to reiterate that it’s a great sequel that improves massively on everything I already love.

Much like Bayonetta 1, it’s still in my top 10 of all time. I adore it.

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Game Completion 2018 #16 – Old Man’s Journey

  • Game: Old Man’s Journey
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Broken Rules
  • Publisher: Broken Rules

What a delightful little game with beautiful art, simple but satisfying mechanics, and a super-touching plot.

I won’t say much more, but it’s a bargain price on the eShop and only takes 90 minutes to an hour, and is totally worth your time.

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Game Completion 2018 #15 – Night in the Woods

  • Game: Night in the Woods
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Infinite Fall
  • Publisher: Finji

Night in the Woods is a weird game with a ton of complex layers and subplots to unpack, and therefore is in some ways exactly what I expected, and, in so many others, absolutely not.

I’ll avoid spoilers, but most of the discussion about NITW revolves around the protagonist Mae and her worth as person. She’s certainly flawed, in her own words ‘a jerk’, but I see a lot of my younger self in her – I used similar mechanisms as her to cope, I acted in similar ways in the social situations that she finds herself in – and I found that pretty confronting.

That’s a testament to the writing, as she’s a believable human in spite of being an anthromorphic cat, and the dialogue is brilliantly sharp, witty and brutal throughout.

I wholly recommend it.

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Game Completion 2018 #14 – Bayonetta

  • Game: Bayonetta
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Platinum
  • Publisher: Nintendo (Originally SEGA)

Not going to talk about this one a great deal as I’ve beaten it multiple times before. Some elements have aged less than perfectly, but it’s still a great time overall and it’s still easily in my top 1o.

Play it, love it. Play the sequel too, it’s also great.

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Game Completion 2018 #13 – Fe

  • Game: Fe
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Zoink
  • Publisher: EA

Played this over two days and really enjoyed it. Previews had it down as some sort of Zelda/Metroid-like in structure, but I found it had more in common with the likes of Journey or Abzu (and not just because of those beautifully stylised visuals), but with greater player agency.

There’s no real combat, the mechanics centre around singing to communicate with the world’s wildlife and using them to assist or attack for you. The puzzles are pretty light and focus more on getting around the world than having an impact on it.

Minor complaints involve the controls feeling a little finicky and oversensitive, which can frustrate those coming off the back of more tactile controls, such as Mario Odyssey or even 2D games like Celeste, but it doesn’t detract from what is, overall, a lovely experience.

Also, the music is absolutely amazing.

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Game Completion 2018 #12 – Celeste

  • Game: Celeste
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Matt Makes Games
  • Publisher: Matt Makes Games

As someone that’s not massively into the type of platformer that Super Meat Boy opened the floodgates for, this wasn’t on my radar at all when it was revealed on the Nintendo January Direct Mini. However, I picked it up because of such a positive buzz, and boy does it live up to it.

Not only is the platforming action absolutely top-notch, without going into spoilers, it deals with subjects very close to my heart and in ways I could not have possibly imagined from its aesthetic nor its trailers. It’s terrific. Highly recommended.

Also, it does this, which I adore in so many ways:

Life lessons

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Game Completion 2018 #11 – Rayman Legends

  • Game: Rayman Legends
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

I’ve completed this twice before (and reviewed it), so won’t bang on too much about it, other than to say that it’s great and that you should play it.

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Game Completion 2018 #10 – Battle Chef Brigade

  • Game: Battle Chef Brigade
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Trinket Studios
  • Publisher: Adult Swim

I originally had no interest in Battle Chef Brigade, and there were multiple reasons for that. Firstly, match-3 games just aren’t my go-to genre, even on mobile. Secondly, I can’t cook in real-life and have never really enjoyed cooking or time management games. Lastly, when I watched trailers of the combat, to me, there was no way the game could be anything other than clunky.

Its popularity, however, has forced me to reconsider all of the above, and I’m glad I did, because this is one wonderful game. The art style is utterly gorgeous. The match-3 mechanics are simple and thoroughly enjoyable. The combat is surprisingly slick; it feels great. The story is also abundantly charming, propped up by well-written and interesting characters, and I think its charm went a long way in getting me on board in the early stages.

It’s weird. I feel like it shouldn’t work; that its mechanics too separate to equate to a cohesive game. Yet these mechanics are merely tasty ingredients that combine beautifully to make one hell of a dish.

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Game Completion 2018 #9 – The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

  • Game: The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
  • Platform: 3DS
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo

Tri Force Heroes might just be the first ever Zelda game I’ve outright disliked. It’s a multiplayer game first and foremost, and does go out of its way to hammer that home, but allows you play solo, similarly to Zelda’s other multiplayer spin-off, Four Swords. However, while the Four Swords entries are still relatively fun in solo, Tri-Force Heroes is simply not.

Structurally it’s not what I expected, less an adventure game, more of a mobile-style puzzler with short levels revolving around a single core principle in each. This is fine in itself, but the fact that Link’s two clones have zero automation as they did in Four Swords, means you’re constantly switching and micro-managing their positions. This gets pretty tiresome very early in.

It also means that boss fights, which require you to switch between them, stack them quickly, and attack with precision, makes a lot of sections pretty tricky, and in a way that’s frustrating or tedious more often than it is rewarding. This is escaerbsted by terrible checkpointing that sees you lose progress should you lose your three lives.

It might be more fun in multiplayer, but I’ve zero interest in trying it. It now exists only to be part of my Zelda collection. What a huge disappointment.

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Game Completion 2018 #8 – Lost Sphear

  • Game: Lost Sphear
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory
  • Publisher: Square Enix

I came into Lost Sphear as a big fan of Tokyo RPG Factory’s previous game, I am Setsuna and, for 30 hours, it was every bit the worthy sequel. Lost Sphear, however, really suffers towards its end, where a lot of unnecessary padding sees the final third become a chore, and that’s before it hits you with a fake-out ending, behind which hides another 10-15 hours of padding and eventually the true ending.

I enjoyed it overall, but that final 15 hours really soured me on it, and I am Setsuna remains the more rounded experience.

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