Race to 100 Catch Up – January

I’m anything but a Lapsed Gamer and I’m currently taking part in one hell of a crazy challenge for myself. I thought I’d share it with the community here and hopefully I can inspire those who have stopped gaming to get back into the hobby whether it’s by setting a challenge or picking up on the games I played. Each game I play will have a Lapsed Gamer Recommendation Yes or No post. Anyway on to a catch up on how January went!

So as last year rumbled on I slowly began to realize the sheer about of games I was beating and finishing. Using the website backloggery.com I track how many games I beat each year and how many I acquire I always try to end each year beating more games than I bought.
In November of last year I realized I was at 86 and tried desperately to beat 100 games. I actually blew my shot at beating the 100 games by going away for Christmas and not finding any time to beat games. I tried to get through Gunman Clive 2 but got stuck, I was playing FRAMED whilst in Berlin but got stuck towards the end (more on that later) and the New Years Eve just ticked over and me firmly stuck on 99. However I couldn’t be dispirited, I played a lot great games including 108 hours of The Witcher and if anything my final list of games beaten in 2015 showed how diverse the industry has really become.
Before I go on and discuss the games I’ve beaten this month. I should at this point explain a few caveats. Backloggery method for inputting episodic games tracks individual episodes as a beaten game, however in a world where short games release on Steam every week I don’t think that is too big a stretch to class them as individual releases. Another slightly odd part of their set up means that DLC is also classed as a separate game. I’ve tended to assess them on an individual basis and if they are lengthy I will include them as a seperate games. It also allows for multiple entries for the same game, however I won’t be allowing myself to stack games in that way, so for example if I beat Beyond Good and Evil HD on 360 then that doesn’t mean I’ve also beaten my copy on Gamecube. However if I chose to play them separately then I can. I’m unlikely to do this as I want to try and consume as many different experiences in 2016 rather than simply repeating the same old games.

 

Transformers Devastation
Announced seemingly out of the blue this was a surprise and despite it’s short length it was a wonderful game that revelled in the nostalgia and wonder of the hit 80s cartoon. It’s actually done enough to get me interested in Transformers again after Michael Bay continually takes a dump all over my childhood and I’ll be keeping an eye out on the multi-media story as it goes forward.

Lasped Gamer Ready? Yes! Simple combat, a short game length and a huge dollop of nostalgia make this one to play.


Lumino City
I was drawn to this game by its art style what followed was nothing more than a simple point and click game, it had a few clever puzzles. The main lure of the game remained the art style the world is made up of paper and card, solving puzzles makes the world mould and shift to aid progress and it was these transitions that were the most interesting part of the game.

Lasped Gamer Ready? No! Relatively boring and it’s unlikely to be one you’d be motivated to stick with.



FRAMED

This was the game that nearly became number 100 last year. You control a black detective looking pair of avatars (one male, one female) and have to reorder comicbook frames in order to sneak past guards to steal briefcases and the like. You reorder the frames and then hit play and watch the level play out. Where I got stuck was that one level towards the end required you to change frames mid run it wasn’t apparently obvious this could be done, there had been strips that had pins and let you twist panels but at no point was there any indication that you change up things this way and it got left unfinished.

Lasped Gamer Ready? Yes! Real fun and cheap!


Undertale
Picked this up after all the GOTY discussions that involved this game in some way shape or form. I’m not one for JRPGs whether its older classics or newer ones, I often find they are overly complicated and find the grind too long. However Undertale’s twist/hook the shorter length and the unique combat system drew me in. I really enjoyed the game although I accidentally killed two enemies which prevented me from getting what’s known as the pacifist ending and from I understand I can’t truly get that ending which is a bit frustrating.

Lasped Gamer Ready? Yes! Short play length for a RPG and fantastically hilarious writing will keep you playing this till the end.


 

Plug & Play
What a weird weird game, I had some doubts about even adding this as it was over in 15 minutes tops but hell it was a game I paid for as part of a humble bundle had a steam code so it’s a game. An odd interactive art thing is the best way I can think of describing this game. I’m not quite what it’s trying to say other than if you have a plug for a head you should probably shove it in a butt if there are no sockets around.

Lasped Gamer Ready? Nah wouldn’t recommend this to anyone!
MISSING: An Interactive Thriller Episode 1
One of the shorter games on last my list clocking in at little under an hour. An FMV point and click adventure game with high production values. You play two characters, one’s a detective the other is someone placed in a situation that wouldn’t look out of place in the earlier Saw movies. There really isn’t much to go with as the game was so short I was left wanted more to see if this is worth pursuing further.

Lasped Gamer Ready? Yeah sure why not! Gripping premise short play length, cheap price I’m sure people will love it.


 

Dyscourse
You’re trapped on an island having crash landed on a plane. You basically take charge of a group of survivors and through discussions you help shape their time on the island. Who survives and how do you try to escape? It’s decided by you and the decisions you make. Each playthrough is less than 2 hours and it lends itself to multiple playthroughs, however due to the nature of this challenge I can’t see myself going back.
 

Lasped Gamer Ready? Yes! It’s very funny and a ton of replayability!

Fallout 4
As a whole I was largely disappointed with Fallout 4. I feel it was far too similar to it’s predecessors. There was a real opportunity to tell a unique fish out of water tale about a man trapped in the future looking for his son. Instead we got a man who just took everything at face value and somehow becomes invaluable to each of the world’s warring factions. Towards the end things did get slightly more interesting but I still feel that there wasn’t enough to keep me yearning for me and if the next Elder Scrolls came takes a similar path I don’t think I’ll be rushing to buy it day one.

Lasped Gamer Ready? Kind of it’s certainly the most accessible Fallout game to date with things such as the Power Armour much more readily available but the sheer length may put some players off.


 

Gemini: Heroes Reborn
A Bit of a mixed bag really the lack of actual Heroes content can be taken two ways. It’s not caught up in the increasingly complicated timelines of the franchise and aside from a few collectibles and a one line mention of a plot point, there isn’t enough to keep fans hooked solely on their love for the show. It does manage to pack a lot of surprises into a short game with its interesting mix of powers but excellence is prevented as it gets bogged down in not allowing its own mechanics to properly flourish. (I adapted this from a review I wrote)

Lasped Gamer Ready? Yes! Short game length and fun to be had with the powers makes this one to play.
The Room
I feel about The Room how many feel about The Witness. A lot of the discourse around that game has been how yes it is nothing more than panel puzzles but also its about so much more than panel puzzles. The Room is just a collection of devilish puzzles where you manipulate dials, switches, panels, dials, cogs and more all with the aim of opening a box on a desk in a room. There are however notes and cut scenes that litter the game with a fiction around previous attempts to open the box and what may lay inside. This was enough to hook me and spur me on to discover what’s inside…

Lasped Gamer Ready? Yes! Short length and great hint system make this very accessible.


 

Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Games don’t often touch my top 5 of all time. That list has been pretty much set in stone for many years now. 6-10 will change at will but that Top 5 is tantamount to the ten commandments in that it will stand for all of time. That’s until I got round to finally sitting down with Valiant Hearts: The Great War. I’ve always been fascinated by the first world war but not on the global scale as such. Every knows the story of how it started and the sheer number of people who died during the war as the allies and Germany dug in for a protracted trench based war. What interests me much more about the WW1 is the personal stories, this is fueled by my own family’s history in the war with my Great Grandfather surviving under his own extraordinary and extremely unique circumstances. Valiant Hearts is no different to this it’s not necessarily about you ending WW1, it’s about a collection of stories of individuals who paths cross multiple times during the onset of the war. I don’t want to spoil too much around that as there certainly some twists and turns that make the game and really put you through an incredible range of emotions. Another aspect of this game I loved was the historical facts that were served up at each location providing context to the importance of the beautifully drawn locations as well as the collectibles which give information about seemingly innocuous items. One particular pick up even shed light on some family keepsakes we have left from Great Grandfather’s war time adventures.

Lasped Gamer Ready? Yes! Fantastic game would highly recommend it to everyone, without a doubt one of my favourite games of all time and should be enjoyed by all!
Cibele
I kind of have mixed feeling about this game. I love innovative narrative experiences and this is certainly that. You take the role of Nina Jackson/Cibele in this semi-autobiographical tale, the story telling takes two forms. The desktop sections allow for a non-linear experience where you sift through pictures, chat logs, poems and more whilst the more linear MMO experience plays out audio conversations between Cibele and her online love Ichi. These parts do drag on a bit too long for amount of exposition and the repetitive simplistic nature of the MMO game don’t help this at all. The soft porn parts really don’t sit well with me, It’s not something I knew about going into the game I feel they weren’t necessary and a little voyeuristic however there is a second way to look at it as an actual portrayal of the intimate nature of online dating. I found the ending particularly harrowing and anyone who has suffered from the breakdown of an online relationship may find it even more worrisome than I did.
 

Lasped Gamer Ready? No, just too weird and not a necessarily accessible topic to cover.

Summary:

Current Pace 144 games (There is no way this will stay the same)
Games Beaten 12/100
That’s it for now but I’m already well on with battling February and will back to report and that very soon!
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