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Through 2019, I've played over 70 games, and have beaten 39 of them. Here's a short review for all of them.
I made it a goal this year to play as many games as I possibly could and try to deplete my backlog. Through doing that, I've played games this year that have made me laugh, cry, complain, hate, and love. I enjoy seeing others post game reviews like this, so hopefully there are others out there like me who just enjoy reading about games.
All games that I've completed are listed in chronological order from when I beat them, and contain a #/10 for final review score (for the ones that I completed). As a bonus, there will be three segments: Completed, Currently playing/hope to get back to, and Retired. At the end, I will include a TLDR; for my completed games in three sections; Good, Average, and Bad. Like others, I used howlongtobeat which proved to be a great tool for my backlog and clearing it out. Here we go:
Condemned: Criminal Origins
I had tried this game a couple years back and it didn't really click. When I tried it this year something changed and I felt the need to keep playing it. The premise of the game is very unique, and although there seem to be a few games like this on Steam, there really isn't an experience like this on console. The gameplay is VERY dated, but the story, location, and overall feel behind the game drew me into it. I finished the entire game on New Years Day, and had a great time doing it. For anyone looking for a fun, old school CSI/Survival Horror esque game, even though it has its problems, check this one out. 7.5/10.
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition
What a game. Like Condemned, this was another game that I initially tried years ago and didn't get hooked on, mainly because the driving is so bad especially when you first start out, but I'm so glad I gave this one another chance. Easily in my top 5 games played this year. Enjoyed every single second of it. Aside from the driving, I have no complaints. This is one of those games where you'll actually want to go do everything else even after you complete the story. It's that good. 9/10
Extra short review because I kinda just blew through this one. Didn't really enjoy it at all, and while this series may have been ahead of its time, its not too impressive playing it in 2019. No story and forgettable gameplay, two things that a campaign of a multiplayer focused game relies on. You're much better off playing through one of the call of duty's if you want an FPS campaign. 4/10
Forewarning for this one and another review coming up: I'm not a fan of this series. This is another one I tried years ago on the 360, gave up on (see a trend?), but decided to give it another go after hearing all the praise for this series. Let me just say, Bioshock is not a bad game at all, obviously, but for some reason it just didn't click with me like it has other people. I enjoyed my time with the game, but wasn't left speechless after it. The setting got old, the story never really interested me, and the gameplay was quite similar to that of other games (Fallout in particular). It looks and performs quite well as a remaster, and I'd say that's probably the best thing I have to say about the game. Not bad, but not deserving of the critical acclaim it has gotten IMO. 7/10
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Stepped out of my comfort zone with this one. I've never seen a batman movie before, nor did I/do I have a desire to before/after beating the game, but I still somehow enjoyed it. It's a nice little change of pace from many games, as the combat is melee focused and is set to one main location with other branching locations instead of the overly used open-world. The backtracking did get tiresome, but overall as a non-batman fan I enjoyed it. Definitely recommend it to somehow looking for a change of pace type of game. 7.5/10
D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die
After beating Deadly Premonition and it subsequently moving into my Top 5 favorite games of all time, I decided to give D4 a try after realizing I had downloaded for free years and years ago. All I have to say is this: Swery is a genius. Not a game I would have EVER expected to like, but one that I couldn't put down. Wacky characters, plot, setting, and gameplay all make D4 just a fun, enjoyable experience. It was meant to be an episodic game, but was unfortunately cancelled after the first episode, and it did leave on a little bit of a cliffhanger. Although the talk around the street is that this game won't be finished, we do have hope considering Swery shocked the world announcing Deadly Premonition 2 for next year, a game which I won't be patient for. If you just want wacky experience, definitely check this one out. 8.5/10
You're probably wondering why this one is on the list if you read through my Bioshock 1 summary. Well, I am too. I had burning desire for whatever reason to return to Bioshock, and experience Bioshock 2, and honestly, my experience was basically the exact same as Bioshock 1 but a little worse. While I found Bioshock 1 to have a forgettable story, I found Bioshock 2 to have a REALLY forgettable story. I also wasn't a fan of the increased combat that was put into this game, as I feel like this is the type of game where exploration should be focus and not fighting a enemies every time you enter a new location or room. Again, not a terrible experience, just not one that left a lasting impression on me whatsoever. 6/10
Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3
Here's where the tears come in. Wow. Just wow. Before playing this series I never thought anything in any type of entertainment could be this good. I was wrong. Mass Effect 1-3 is the greatest achievement in entertainment history. Am I saying this after doing/watching/playing everything that has ever been put out? No. But I am saying it as I'm confident I, like many others, will NEVER have the pleasure of experiencing anything like the first run through the Mass Effect Trilogy ever again. This is a must play for people not even interested in gaming. The plot that carries over across all three games while taking everything you did from the previous game into account is something that I haven't seen replicated in gaming since, and that was over 12 years ago. The story, world, characters, and gameplay is truly something remarkable in all of entertainment. 2 was my favorite, only because of all the amazing characters you got to meet, otherwise 1 was very close behind. 3 was great, and despite what all the critics had to say, I felt the ending was justified. 10/10
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
A much better entry into the Tomb Raider franchise than Rise, one of the two games which I credit that turned me into a patient gamer. The gameplay was more enjoyable than Rise, and the somewhat open-world sections that the devs added was a nice little change to the series. I still don't think this was nearly as good as Tomb Raider (2013), but this one is definitely still worth checking out. 7/10
My first truly bad experience of 2019. This game was just bad. It had potential and you can see it when you play it, but unfortunately it's just bad. So bad. The plot is bad, the characters are bad, and the gameplay is just downright garbage. The one thing that had true potential which was the world was just shamelessly butchered as well. No one should touch this game. 1/10
The Wolf Among Us
Another masterpiece. This was my first telltale game and I'm scared to play another one because I know it will probably not come close to comparing to TWAU. This game has twists and turns that you wouldn't have ever expected, and draws you into the world VERY quickly. This was another one that was hard to put down. The voice acting and story are top notch, and HOLY COW, WOLF AMONG US 2 COMING?? Other than Deadly Premonition 2, it's currently my most hyped upcoming game. 10/10
DmC: Devil May Cry (2013)
My first and possibly my last entry in the DMC series. I know its considered to be the worst or at least one of the worst games in the series, but the main draws of the game just bored me to death. The weird enemies types with the spam attack hack-n-slashing combat just really didn't provide me with joy. The story was interesting IMO and the boss fights were cool, but just running around hack n slashing everything as well as backtracking to certain locations just wasn't fun at all to me. Another forgettable experience. 6/10
Watch Dogs 2
This one really surprised me. I was in the minority where I actually really enjoyed Watch Dogs 1, but held off this one due to vocal people saying that this game was political nonsense. My experience with the game was the complete opposite, as I played it from pure game perspective and didn't think much in the overall deep meaning of the plot. The setting was great, and as someone who lives near SF but absolutely hates the city IRL, it was still quite cool to experience something so similar in a game. The graphics were great, the gameplay was smooth, and the characters were interesting, which in total made Watch Dogs 2 a great experience. There were a few characters who were over the top or just not needed in the game, but all I had to do was skip the scenes they were in. 8.5/10
My first true point and click game since the early 2000's. Im a big fan of detective/mystery games, so this one was on my list for a while. Since I lack the mental capacity to solve most puzzles in games, I did have to use a walkthrough for a large part of this game. Even so, I still very much enjoyed this game. If you're looking for a fun point and click adventure game with tons of mystery included, this is a great game to choose. 7.5/10
Bound By Flame
As an RPG fan, I had to give this one at least a try. After the horror that I experienced in The Technomancer, I didn't know what to expect with this one. This was just average all the way through. Literally take the definition of an RPG and put it into this game. Much better than The Technomancer, but still not that good of an RPG. I'd probably suggest only to play this If you run out of other RPGs or simply just want a mediocre experience. Also, what's up with Spiders making the ability to climb up objects impossible if you're in combat? You have to clear out every single enemy in an area if you want to continue on, and this includes the backtracking and minor areas. One of the most annoying things I can remember experiencing in a video game. 5/10
Wasn't patient for this one but I wish I was. Like Bound By Flame, this is just an insanely bland RPG, and in this case, is considered a "Hardcore RPG". It's hardcore in the fact that you REALLY have to want to play this game otherwise you're going to be bored within an hour. Its not worth having to make the 10 minute walk across the map 10-20 times to get supplies and to complete quests. Just a totally bland game that I would've quit right away if I hadn't bought it on release. Another great example on why to be a patient gamer. I also found out later on this year that this game was already made in 2009, and was much better then. I'll save that for a later review. 4/10
Dead Rising 2 Remastered
A classic. This was my first replay of 2019, but this time it was the remastered version. I played through Dead Rising 2 5-6 times on my 360 solo and with different coop partners. The remastered version is just a better version of this great game. Absolutely flawless performance even on my OG Xbox One. This game is the ultimate sit back and chill game. 8.5/10
My second replay of 2019, and, up until I played the Mass Effect series earlier in the year, was my favorite game of all time. Crime/noir is my favorite genre of games, and it's too bad we really don't see many of them anymore. L.A. Noire blows every other crime game out of the water, and not only that, but throws in the detective element and makes you feel like you are truly investigating the cases in the game. The noir element is also just totally flawless in the game. While the performance of the remastered version was again, flawless, I really didn't like how they removed the Truth/Lie dialogue options with "Good Cop/Bad Cop". I honestly preferred the last gen version. Still, I consider this game a masterpiece. 10/10
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Was hoping to play this after I saw the new season to get into the mood, but decided to dive right in instead. To this day, the South Park games are the only turn-based games that I've managed to play through. While I preferred the premise of The Stick Of Truth better, I still absolutely loved my time with this game. It truly is remarkable that not only are Trey and Matt able to continually make arguably the greatest show in entertainment history, but also put out really great games. 8/10
Assassins Creed: Odyssey
I spent all of May playing this one, so that should tell most of what you need to know. I'm a sucker for Ubisoft games and the mindless enjoyment I get out of them. While nothing Odyssey does is groundbreaking, it still provided me with more than 65 hours of content and that's without the DLC, which I hope to get back to someday. Due to the story and characters, I think this is better than Origins, although both are great games worthy of your time. I'm glad the series has turned into an basically open world RPG, because I was not a fan at all of any of the older AC games. 9/10
Didn't even know this game existed until I picked it up over the summer. It was a fun little experience. Extremely unique, but I wasn't a fan of the main RTS element and the very empty open world. Music was fantastic though, and I really enjoyed the plot. Wish we had more games that went really outside the box like this. 7/10
My second bad experience this year. I heard so many positives about this game, but I just hated absolutely every second of this one. The so-called story and "decision making" that I heard so much about was, IMO, a total lie, as none of the decisions you make truly matter, and not to mention they're insanely quickly timed so half the time you don't even know what you're picking. Im going to say it, this is just a very, very, very bad prequel to Hitman: Absolution (yes, I liked that game). This one should be buried and forgotten. 2/10
Wanted: Weapons Of Fate
Another one of my 360 pickups during the summer. Not much to summarize as it's apparently a video game version of a movie I had never seen or heard of. It's a nice little straightforward action game that's playable for its duration, which is only about 6 hours. Easily beaten in a day. 6/10
Finally got to this one after wanting to play it for so long. I heard it had everything that I wanted: Crime, Mystery, Noir elements....... and it absolutely delivered on all fronts. I actually accidentally spoiled the plot for myself a few years ago which put me off of the game for so long, but since I only knew the major twist, everything else was new to me making it extremely enjoyable to start to finish. People talk about the mainstream PS exclusives like God Of War, Bloodborne, etc., but not enough talk goes into Heavy Rain and it's later counterpart, Until Dawn. 9/10
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
Now I'm totally in the minority on this one, but I really enjoyed this game. Disclosure: I've never played any other XCOM game due to them being turn-based, which is why I gave this one a try. This game is solid all around, but where it shines is the setting. Some of the locations that this game puts you in, including places in New Mexico and CA, along with your base of operations, are very unique. Unless all the hate for this game was from XCOM fanboys who wanted more turn-based, than I truly don't understand what the deal was. This was a great game. 8/10
Again, not much to really review here. A walking sim in space with its own little touch on interaction and dialogue. It's very colorful and different from most walking space sims. If you're a fan of these types of games, I think this one might be worth checking out. 7/10
Gears Of War: Ultimate Edition
As the 3rd person cover shooter genre is growing quickly on me, I decided to check out the series that a number of people have credited with starting it. I also started out with the goal of playing through the entire series for the first time before Gears 5 came out. Ultimately, it fell short after this one, but I'll save that for later. GoW: UE is a great remaster. The graphics are phenomenal, and gameplay is smooth, and seemingly is the way that someone starting out on Gears Of War should start their entry into the series. The grass is not so greener after this one, but this game by itself is definitely worth your time. 7.5/10
Red Faction: Guerrilla Remarstered
Didn't know how I expected this one going. I love Sci-Fi and space, and had never played a labeled destruction game before, but as soon as I stepped foot on Mars, I knew this was going to be a good one. You truly don't know how enjoyable breaking everything is until you do it, and that's all you need to focus on while playing this game. Yea other elements are there, but the destruction is just so damn satisfying that it makes this game just worth it for that. 8/10
Gears Of War 2
Man did I have to absolutely slog through this one. I've seen people credit this game as the best in the series, but all I credit it as is the game which completely killed any interest I had in Gears of War. You can only run through caves for so long before it gets mind numbingly boring. Not to mention the completely random story bits that this game throws in. This was not a fun game at all to play. 3/10
Dark Pictures Anthology: Man Of Medan
After playing until dawn 3 years ago and immediately saying right afterwards "If only supermassive did an anthology series. I'd buy every game on release", here we are 3 years later and they actually are doing exactly that. While I wouldn't say that this one is as good as Until Dawn, it's still a fantastic game and one that all fans of Until Dawn should experience. Not to mention it has Shawn Ashmore in it, one of the greater lesser known actors. 8/10
Remember how I said a far superior version of Outward had come out in 2009? Yea, this it it. This was the ideal hardcore RPG experience I was looking for. It had everything: Fantastic story, great characters, janky combat, among all the other things that I look for in an RPG. Perhaps the most surprising part of this game was the Dialogue, and dare I say may be the best dialogue of any game that I have ever played. They have some lines in this one that are absolutely hilarious, and the best part is you would have never expected a game like this to have such strong writing, which makes it even better. This game was so close to being a legitimate masterpiece if it wasn't for the last chapter in the game which almost killed my enjoyment in the game. Other than that, this is a must play RPG. 9/10
Far Cry 3
Another one on the long list of games that I tried years ago and decided on trying again this year. Far Cry 3 ended up being just an average experience. Cheesy story, tedious objectives (crawl up a tower, liberate an outpost, rinse and repeat). I did like the main missions though, and the setting was pretty cool. A better game than Far Cry 4. 6/10
Boy did I enjoy my time with this one. This one is easily the hidden gem of all my 2019 games if I don't count the arguably more popular Risen 1. This game had it all, but more importantly, found a way to skillfully mix in an engaging and emotional story with a good amount of comedy. Not to mention, it probably has the best shooter physics of any game I've ever played it. It's truly a shame this one is not talked about more. 9.5/10
Far Cry 5
Decided to pick this one up after not minding Far Cry 3. Let me start by saying this: Far Cry 5 is BY FAR the best in the series in almost every facet of the series' core. I can't tell you how nice it was not having to climb up 20 towers in the game. Graphics were superb, setting was by far the best in the series, and so was the story. I also didn't realize how much of a powerhouse cast they had for this game until I finished it. Impressive. 8/10
The Outer Worlds
Easily my 2019 GOTY. I haven't had that much fun playing a game since Mass Effect in February. I know I've said it a lot in these reviews, but again, this game had it all. I didn't have a single complaint about this game. Not one. Story, graphics, characters, world, all absolutely phenomenal. I was so glad to see this game get universal acclaim. It deserved it. 10/10
And now my worst game of 2019. This game was garbage. That is all I can say about this one. Don't ever waste your time on this POS. I can't believe I did till the end. 1/10
This one was another slog to get through. The reviews of this game from 2007 are not representative of the game today. I can't really say one thing that this game did positive, at least by today's standards, other than offer a unique system of combat. Everything else was just not good. 4.5/10
The Good: Mass Effect series, Outer Worlds, Binary Domain, Risen 1, L.A. Noire, The Wolf Among Us, Sleeping Dogs, Watch Dogs 2, Dead Rising 2, Far Cry 5, Assassins Creed Odyssey, Red Faction Guerrilla Remarstered, The Bureau XCOM Declassified, Heavy Rain, South Park Fractured But Whole, D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die
The Average: Condemned Criminal Origins, Bioshock 1 & 2, Batman Arkham Asylum, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, DmC: Devil May Cry, Thimbleweed Park, Brutal Legend, Wanted Weapons Of Fate, Tacoma, Gears Of War Ultimate Edition, Far Cry 3, Bound By Flame
The Bad: Crysis 2, The Technomancer, Outward, Alpha Protocol, Gears Of War 2, Rage 2, The Darkness
Now onto games that I'm currently playing/hope to get back to....
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (Playing)
Black Friday pickup. Really enjoying my time with this game, and after absolutely hating Dark Souls, this one has surprised me.
Kingdom Hearts 3 (Playing)
The games locations are so cool, especially after growing up around all these things... but the game is just so boring to play.
Not a big fan of sidescrollers but got this one for a good price. About half way through the game, just need to find motivation to finish it.
Fallout: New Vegas
Decided to give NV one more go and actually got into it. Unfortunately it's been paused due to me buying so many games on Black Friday, but it will soon be resumed.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Enjoyed my time with it but the turn-based combat really just makes it a slow hassle to play. Honestly don't know if I'll return to it.
Wasn't a fan of what I had played, but will likely give it another try in the future before I put it down for good.
And now for games that have been retired, for the better good....
Resident Evil 2
This was my last attempt at trying to get into the Resident Evil franchise. After trying 0, 4, 5 and now 2, this series just isn't for me. I dreaded my time with Resident Evil 2, as I can only take backtracking through the same boring hallways with no ammo so many times. (Black Friday buy - returned)
Didn't have high hopes for this game so I wasn't disappointed, but this game was just really, really bad. Easily the worse lighting/color palette of any game I've ever played, not to mention there's nothing interesting at all about the game and the combat sucks hard. I also had a table stuck around my character 3 times in the first 2 hours. (Black Friday buy - returned)
Just a bad game.
Enjoyed the game up until the point where I had to deal with BS and wasn't willing to deal with the BS. Didn't leave any lasting expressions on me.
I can't stand insta-kill games. I've tried to pick this one up on three different occasions, but the last one was my last straw. Just not a game for me.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Bad game with the worst voice acting in a video game. What else is there to say?
Red Faction: Armageddon
Bad game that could've been good but instead is bad.
Another game that could've been okay but just fell completely flat on its face.
Man, I really did enjoy my time with this game, but once they wanted me to through an entire castle with loads of enemies on each floor and no respawn points, that was it for me sadly.
Bully: Scholarship Edition
Just a boring game. I can see how it might've been fun for its time, but at least for me it doesn't hold up in the slightest.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading my 2019 in gaming review! Hopefully it helped out on some games on your list.
submitted by xOfMalice