Gaming misc.

I’ve achieved my goal

One of my gaming goals this year was to beat all Halo games in the Master Chief Collection. I have now done so. Another goal I had was to play and beat one mainline game in all generations of Pokémon. Earlier this month I did that as well.

This resulted in six Halo games beaten in three months as well as five Pokémon games beaten in two month. Both are franchises I really enjoy. Pokémon being a huge part of my childhood, Halo being completely new for me. I would really like to see another single player focused game from Bungie since the best Halo games are made by Bungie.

Destiny 2 is a fine game, but nothing I want to experience for the story. It’s mostly just very confusing for me with it’s GUI and that takes away a lot of the experience, even though the gameplay is very refined.

So now I need a new goal.

Gaming misc.

In need of a game that really hooks me

After playing the wonderful Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, I really miss the games that really hooks me. Games like, The Witcher 3, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Dawn and Ratchet & Clank (2016) and many more. Basically all the games I have Platinum in.

I want a short action based game that’s mechanically solid. I guess I have to keep looking.

Gaming misc.

What to play, there is so much to play

There are so many games to play now. I want to finish Biomutant, but I can’t occupy the TV too much. So I need something to play on the PC. I’m thinking of starting Dishonored 2 again. Don’t know if I should start over or continue from where I stopped last time.

On Friday Ratchet & Clank: Rift apart is released, so I want to get that. I don’t know why, but I really enjoy playing games on release. I played Biomutant on day one, but after that I didn’t play much due to my Pokémon addiction.

I should probably stick to my old policy, no new games before I finished the last one I got. I’m running out of games I want to play on Steam though. I went through a bunch on them the last couple of years, like the first two Arkham games, the Tomb Raider reboot and The Witcher 1 and 2. I have Dishonored 2 left, as well as Torchlight 2 that I want to play co-op with friends.

I also have Halo Reach that I’m planning on beating this year to really establish this as the year of Halo and Pokémon.

Gaming misc.

Ranking Pokemon generations

I have played a lot of Pokémon recently. In total six mainline Pokémon games the last 5-6 months. This ranking won’t be super scientific, it’s just how I feel, may it be clouded by nostalgia or not. I don’t care.

8. Generation 7 – Sun/Moon

The first Pokémon generation that I played on release. Also the second new game in the series I played after I got back to the franchise in 2015.

I was looking forward to a new Pokémon adventure, but I got something else. I wanted something more conventional but it tried to be something else. I enjoyed it at the time, but after playing more games in the series I have noticed I like the regular formula more than Gen 7.

7. Generation 5 – Black/White 1 & 2

The most recent generation I’ve played. Just finished the second game minutes ago. The last games on the NDS for the series, it’s the most advanced games on that platform for sure. However, fancy technology doesn’t do anything if the story is outdrawn and rather dull. Felt more forced than other entries.

6. Generation 4 – Diamond/Pearl/Platinum

The last game before they tried to spice things up. This meaning it’s a good games, but very conventional. Something I actually enjoy when it comes to Pokémon. Not the strongest entry, but far from the worst.

5. Generation 3 – Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

The series first and only venture on the GBA for the mainline series. A logical next step from Gen 2. Grand stories isn’t my favorite when it comes to Pokémon, a smaller scope is preferred.

3. Generation 6 & 8 – X/Y & Sword/Shield

Skipping number four and having an joint third position instead. Gen 6 was my first newer Pokemon game. My reintroduction into the franchise. Gen 6 is inheriting a lot of quality of life features from Gen 5, but for me it feels like a homage to Gen 1, which was a excellent new start for me.

Gen 8 felt very linear, which it is. The region is very well executed with its British influences. They even managed to include the football craze. With the additions of the two DLCs the game was vastly improved, especially with the two open areas.

2. Generation 1 – Red/Blue/Yellow

Where everything started. A good foundation to build on. Very iconic, very nostalgic for me. A fantastic pokémon roster, memorable characters and history is made. Still a good entry, even though it’s very glitchy.

1. Generation 2 – Gold/Silver/Crystal

Where a simple formula was refined and improved on in every aspect. Two more types, which balance out the overpowered Psychic-type. 100 brand new Pokémon with personality. The introduction of baby pokemon and breeding.

My favorite thing about Gen 2 is the connection to Gen 1 with Kanto being available after the Elite Four. In my youth I managed to collect all 251 pokémon. Unfortunately, the battery in the cartridge died so I have no proof of it. Still, it’s a very important game for me and will probably always be my favorite.

Gaming misc.

Reaching new heights

Not as drastic as the title may sound. I have however beaten 14 games under 6 months, a new record for me. My previous best for a full year is 19 games. So I am set up well to beat that at least.

One of the reasons is probably because I haven’t revisited any games that I’ve played before. I’m on my way with Pokemon Black as well, so that’ll probably game 15.

Pokemon Black is a weird one. I can see why I was so confused when jumping into the Pokemon mainline games again back in 2015 with Pokemon Y (Gen 6) when I was used how Pokemon games was in Gen 2-3. A lot of the big changes were made in Black / White (Gen 5). Merging of the Pokémon Center and Poké Mart, a more cinematic emphasis, different “camera” angles during fights, stuff that has been a staple since. The mix of 3D effects on 2D sprites is something I probably an idea I have to warm up to. It’s not a favorite change so far.

Gaming misc.

Pokémon Pokémon Pokemon

I’m nearing the end in Pokémon Diamond. Almost ready to face the Elite Four. This would make it the fourth Pokémon game this year. Three mainline games and one spin-off.

I’m tempted to continue with Pokémon Black 1 after Diamond, but I have some other games coming up aswell, like Biomutant, and I should also continue Fenyx.

My goal this year is to beat the rest of the mainline Pokémon games I haven’t beaten yet and also all Halo games in the Master Chief Collection, I have Reach left.

Gaming misc.

More Halo

This week has been a productive one. Me and Rasmus beat both Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST this weekend. I’m quite surprised how short both 3 and ODST are. Both Halo 1 and 2 feels much longer. Might be a difficult to compare since I played Halo 1 by myself, whereas Halo 3 and ODST was co-op. Halo 2 was a co-op playthrough, it took two session and both 3 and ODST was one four-hour session each.

I am actually still really enjoying Halo, even after 4 games played in a short time. Story and engagement-wise Halo: Combat Evolved is still my favorite so far. I still have Reach and Halo 4 left in the Master Chief Collection.

After that I only have Halo 5 left of the current Halo games. The problem is that it’s only available on Xbox One and Series consoles. I have a Xbox One S which hopefully will be used for some sweet couch co-op when the Covid-19 situation is a bit more manageable.

If we manage to beat Halo 5: Guardians before Halo Infinite is released. I’m very interested in playing it co-op on release since it will be on Steam and Game Pass.

This puts my “games beaten” total for 2021 to ten games so far, of which six are played on PC.

Gaming misc.

Co-op is fun

Today I finished Halo 2 with my good friend Rasmus. I really noticing how much I have missed playing games with others. Since I don’t enjoy competitive multiplayer games I don’t have many games to play with friends. I’m gonna try to play more with friends. It’s probably gonna be one of my personal goals of 2021. I need the social aspect and playing games together is fun.

Apparently co-op in Halo 2 has some problems. Some cutscenes crashes the session in co-op mode. So we had to start over a couple of times with some missions. So it hasn’t been the smoothest experience. It’s so much fun though, regardless of the problems.

We are most likely gonna start Halo 3 next weekend. I’m already looking forward to that!

Gaming writeups Newer games Retro games

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (PC)

After 20 year I have finally played Halo: Combat Evolved. It wasn’t until I played some Destiny 2 back in 2019 I got the urge to explore the earlier Bungie creations. The tight FPS gameplay in Destiny 2 piqued my interest in Halo.

I bought the Master Chief Collection on steam on a sale recently. I decided to play them in release order so I started with Halo: Combat Evolved. As a nintendo fanboy back in the day I pretty much hated the Xbox and Halo. I never was interested in FPS games, not just Halo, but I always wanted my darling Gamecube to be the top dog.

I’m happy that I waiting for the MCC so I could experience the game with more graphics and mouse and keyboard controls. I usually prefer a controller, but for FPS games, I’m a mouse and keyboard kind of guy.

The Anniversary Graphics compared to the Original Graphics

With a press on the tab button it’s possible to swap between the Anniversary and the original graphics. I never used the original graphics when playing, but at times I swapped to them to see the difference.

After playing Halo I actually understand the hype from back in the day. I understand why it was Xbox flagship title and its console seller. It’s still a good game, somewhat dated, but still a very solid game. It’s not a perfect game, but its scope and story are well executed.

Even after twenty years I bascially knew nothing about the story of Halo. I knew some terms I learnt from Warcraft 3 custom maps like The Covenant, The Flood and Halo. I didn’t really know what it entailed. This made the game feel fresh and the plot twist was actually new for me, even after all this time.

A very iconic cutscene

There are some weaker points, for me it’s the large maps without a good way of telling the player where to go without pointing it out too much. I found myself lost a couple of times. The other weak point is the mission The Library, very repetitive, slow and a literal flood of enemies.

After 10 hours of playing I beat the game, and I would actually say it’s one of my better gaming experiences in 2021. It made me a fan of a game that I used to hate (without anything backing my claims). I’m really looking forward to exploring this franchise.

Bungie really are masters of good FPS combat, they really evolved it. The weapons feel great and heavy enough to really convey some kind of reality to the player in this fictional sci-fi world.

I would recommend everyone to test Halo: Combat Evolved to see the game that changed FPS on consoles, but also gaming in general. It’s a brilliant game that still are worth to play despite its age.

Gaming writeups Newer games Retro games

DuckTales: Remastered (PC)

The games I write about are usually games I really like. Mostly because I don’t finish games I don’t enjoy playing. This game is the exception. DuckTales: Remastered is a gorgeous game, the art style is nearly perfect. However the gameplay leaves a lot to wish for. While there has been a few quality of life improvements over the NES original, like the easy pogo, which was first featured in DuckTales 2.

DuckTales: Remastered is one of the games that has frustrated me the most. Weird hitboxes, skipped input, bad mechanics and bloated with cutscenes are just a few things that come to mind. WIth skipped inputs I mostly mean, when walking down a platform it’s almost impossible to pogo or time a jump on the ground below making unnecessary hit a problem. The other huge complain is the hitboxes that doesn’t seem to fit the sprites.

The biggest flaw is probably that the life system. Sue to the previously stated problems, getting two lives after a “continue” isn’t enough. Especially not since losing those lives, means starting the level all over again, with all of the progress of the stage lost.

The brilliance of the original is its simplicity. It’s very straight forward, find the boss, defeat the boss collect treasure. Something that the Remaster unnecessarily butchers, artificially prolongs the levels with forced items to collect before a cutscene that takes the player to the last area with the boss.

DuckTales: Remastered is not a difficult game, it’s a cheap game. By adding stuff to do, I feel the game becomes weaker. It charm of the original is that it’s possible to beat in less than 10 minutes. With the addition of the intro stage and new objectives in the stages plus adding a final stage, the games just feels bloated.

I’ve talked a lot of the the problems, but sadly that’s the impression that this game has given me. Bosses with forced cycles, in addition to taking too many hits to defeat, makes them tedious and not exciting. The absolutely most frustrating parts was the ending sequence after the final boss. The race against Magica De Spell and Glomgold to get the Number One Dime. Instead of a straight rope to the top, the remastered “fixed” a part not needing to be fixed, making it one of the most frustraing parts due to bad controls and mechanics. After that sequence which is the last one on the NES, a new escape part is added. Scrooge has to flee from the rising lava and traverse from chain to chain to ascend to safety. The problem is that climing and especially dropping from chains to grab another one is the worst mechanic in the game. These to parts in combination with having to restart the level when all lives are gone made this a living nightmare. I really don’t like this game.

One of the positive aspects besides the graphics, is the music. Jake Kaufman’s original tunes and the arrangements of the classics are good, really good. You can really hear it is Kaufman, which is something I love. Doesn’t save the game as a whole, but it’s one of the redeeming qualities of the game. Don’t know if the music is improved, but I enjoy both the remastered tunes and the originals.

I would honestly not recommend DuckTales: Remastered to anyone, because I know I’ll never ever play it again. I think it a really bad remake. Really happy it’s over.