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Community No new games in 2022, unfinished backlog only

Are you taking part in the the No New Games Pact of 2022?

  • Yes

    Votes: 15 65.2%
  • No

    Votes: 8 34.8%

  • Total voters
    23

InfiniteCombo

Member
Jan 26, 2014
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The 2021 Pact is complete. 2022 draws near.


(Original image courtesy of Game Informer)
So you may or may not have signed on to the 2021 Pact. You spent 2021 under yet another new set of Covid-related lockdowns, so you figured you'd play some video games. But those Steam, PSN, Xbox, or eShop sales were too good, and they got the better of you. You are now faced with a backlog that's likely bigger than the one you had last year. Enter: This thread.

Come one, come all! This is meant to be a fun and chill thread for those of us going through our backlog. Most folks come in and write some quick thoughts on the games they play; unlike me, since I think I have invented the cure to insomnia with my long ass TL;DR posts :messenger_tears_of_joy: .

THE RULES:

No playing games released in 2022
No playing games purchased in 2022
Otherwise, buying games is fine (you collectors and Steam sale junkies out there can keep packing your shelves)

Mini-FAQ:

Do I have to make a list?

No, feel free to add or subtract games to your pile as long as the title does not violate your desired challenge tier.

Can I buy games AT ALL? What about adding PS+, GamePass, etc to my digital library? What about SALES?!?!
Acquiring games is fine. Playing them is not. The challenge is intended to get you playing games you already own. Hopefully the restriction helps you cut down on new purchases and impulse buys. Technically, one could play zero games in 2020 and also fulfill the challenge, but this is a gaming forum so...

What is the minimum number of games I must complete?
There is no minimum. However, there is a 'Clear one (or more) backlog games per month' challenge included. See below.

THE COMPLETELY MEANINGFUL (and not totally made up) REWARD TIERS



1. The "I have completed so many backlog games, that I've transcended gaming nirvana and I'm beyond backlog reward tiers" Tier -- You have abstained from playing new games in 2022






2. The "I am a god of video games" Tier -- 10 backlog games completed per 1 new 2022 game


(Original image courtesy of MBC Pathway)




3. The "Kazuma Kiryu is disappointed in me because I play too many video games" Tier -- 5 backlog games completed per 1 new 2022 game





4. The "We salute you, DunDunDunpachi DunDunDunpachi " Tier -- 1 backlog game completed per month



INTERNET RESOURCES AND NEOGAF COMPANION THREADS

How Long to Beat -- As the name states, this website has a giant catalog of games and the approximate amount of time it should take you to beat them. It's a useful resource if you want
Backloggery -- As the name implies, a place to manage your backlog. I personally don't use it, since I don't need "formal" ways to track my backlog. I know the games I own.

(Note: Hyperlinks to the companion threads will be provided once the 2022 versions of those threads are created)
52 Games in a Year Challenge -- NeoGAF companion thread; we get a lot of cross-posting between the two threads.
RetroAchievements -- NeoGAF companion thread, for those of us who have retro games in our backlogs

SHOUT OUTS, RANDOM NOTES, AND PARTING THOUGHTS

The 2021 thread was actually pretty active, with a lot of awesome people posting. I'd like to give some quick shoutouts:
Phase Phase -- This guy is a video game beast! I think he even met (exceeded!?) the 52-game challenge.
DelireMan7 DelireMan7 -- Another prominent contributor to the 2021 thread, who plays awesome games. Oh, pretty cool dude, too.
Bakkus Bakkus -- Don't let the Paper Mario avatar fool you, this guy will play all sorts of cool games.
VidKid369 VidKid369 -- The backlog crew's resident JRPG expert
Sidney Prescott Sidney Prescott -- An English version of teezzy teezzy ? Or is it the other way around? :messenger_tears_of_joy:
Soodanim Soodanim -- If I didn't play enough backlog games, I should blame him, since I spent that time playing Resident Evil 1-3 instead :messenger_winking_tongue:
 
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Bakkus

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Bakkus Bakkus -- Don't let the Paper Mario avatar fool you, this guy will play all sorts of cool games.
:messenger_face_screaming: Nothing wrong with having an avatar of the gaming GOAT.

Thanks for the shoutout anyways. Don't think I'm gonna be anywhere near as active this coming year as last year. Currently my country is really closed, but I have faith that will change in not so distant future. We were opened again for 2-3 months this fall which is why I wasn't as active at that time.
I do have games I'm currently playing, but I doubt I will be able to finish them before the new year, so it's fine by me to start this thread 6 days early!
 
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DelireMan7

Member
May 22, 2019
1,091
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Nice job InfiniteCombo InfiniteCombo ! And thanks for carrying the torch DunDunDunpachi DunDunDunpachi lit few years ago.

As the 2 last years, I'll be part of it ! But it will be a special year since I already preorder Elden Ring and I will play it a lot I guess. I also plan several replay (Bloodborne, Sekiro, Souls...)

My challenge :
No 2022 games (or as low as possible). I can buy older games. If I buy a game, I play it immediately.

The last part is kind of in contradiction with the thread's goal but my backlog as never been so long because I bought game without playing them, a thing I never did few years back. So in the case I buy a new game, I prefer to play it immediately to avoid growing my backlog more.

Threats :
Elden Ring
- already preordered
Metal Slug Tactics - depend on my mood when released but has a high potential of buy.
Final Fantasy XVI - almost guaranteed buy if released this year
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : Shredder's Revenge - guaranteed buy if released this year. For coop only.
Hollow Knight : Silk Song - guaranteed buy if released

Physical Backlog* :
  • The Legend of Heroes : Trails in the Sky (PSP)
  • Rogue Galaxy (PS2)
  • Baldur's Gate : Siege of Dragonspear (PS4)
  • Baldur's Gate 2 : Shadows of Amn (PS4)
  • Baldur's Gate 2 : Throne of Bhaal (PS4)
  • Zelda Ocarina of time (N64)
  • Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
  • Project X Zone (3DS)
  • Brigandine : The legend of Runersia (Switch)
  • The Mark of Kri (PS2)
  • Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor 2 : Record Breaker (3DS)
  • Demon's Souls (PS5) Ongoing !
*doesn't include PSplus free games
Backlog and games beaten in previous years :

Backlog :
  • Xenoblade Chronicles Done !
  • Final Fantasy XII Gave up ! Done !
  • The Last of Us (PS+) Done !
Games completed :
  1. Dragon Age Origins (PC) (started early 2019, finished 6th January 20, around 80h)
  2. The Last of us + Left Behind (PS4) (Started 1st January, finished 19th January 20, 18h30 + 2h20, Survivor Difficulty)
  3. [Replay] Dark Souls Remastered (PS4) (thanks to the lockdown, finish a coop playthrough (half NG and full NG+) with a friend)
  4. Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii) (Started 25th January 2020, finished 10th May 20, 78h30)
  5. Streets of Rage 4 (PS4) (Online coop with friends, still playing Mania arcade and scoring)
  6. Assassin's Creed (PS3) (Started 12th of May, finished the 30rd of May)
  7. Assassin's Creed II (PS3) (Started 2nd of June, finished 17th of June, 15h30)
  8. Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (PS3) (Started 20th of June; finished the 5th of July, 14h42)
  9. Assassin's Creed Revelations (PS3) (Started 5th of July; finished 11th of July, 9h03)
  10. Final Fantasy XII : The Zodiac age (PS4) (Started 25th of July, stopped 21st of August Finish the 3rd of November, around 64h)
  11. Batman Arkham Knight's DLC : Batgirl, Red Hood, Catwoman and Harley Quinn (PS4) (21/22 nd of August, around 3h)
  12. Assassin's Creed 3 (PS3) (Started the 23th of August, ended the 5th of September, 19h)
  13. Baldur's Gate (PS4) (Started the 14th of September, ended the 5th of October, "162 days")
  14. [Replay] Demon's Souls (PS3) (Started the 5th of October, ended the 17th of October, 25h)
  15. [Replay] Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition + DLCs (Gladio, Prompto, Ignis and Ardyn) (PS4) (Started 7th of November, ended 5th of December around 58h)

Physical Backlog :
  • Lunar Silver Star Harmony (PSP) Done !
  • The Legend of Heroes : Trails in the Sky (PSP)
  • Rogue Galaxy (PS2)
  • Odin Sphere (PS2) Gave up !
  • Baldur's Gate : Siege of Dragonspear (PS4)
  • Baldur's Gate 2 : Shadows of Amn (PS4)
  • Baldur's Gate 2 : Throne of Bhaal (PS4)
  • Assassin's Creed IV : Black Flag (PS3) Done !
  • Baten Kaitos : Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (Gamecube) Done !
  • Zelda Ocarina of time (N64)
  • Hollow Knight (PS4) Done !
  • [Replay] Final Fantasy X and X-2 (PS2) Done ! and Done !
  • [Replay] At least one SoulsBorne (PS3/4) Done !
  • [2021] Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
  • [2021] Project X Zone (3DS)
  • [2021] Radiant Historia : Perfect Chronology (3DS) Done !
  • [2021] Brigandine : The legend of Runersia (Switch)
  • [2021] The Mark of Kri (PS2)
  • [2021] Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor 2 : Record Breaker (3DS)
  • [2021] Demon's Souls (PS5) Ongoing !
Games completed :
  1. Rayman Origins (PS3) (started in Spring 2020, main story finished 5th of January 2021, coop with my 4 years old daughter, her first video game)
  2. Lunar : Silver Star Harmony (PSP) (Started 1st of January, finished 17th of January, 25h56m)
  3. Baten Kaitos : Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (Gamecube) (Started 19th of January, Finished the 13th of March, around 67h)
  4. Hollow Knight (PS4) (Started 26th of February, Close to platinum the 23rd of April, around 83h)
  5. Assassin's Creed IV : Black Flag (PS3) (Started the 25th of April, Finished the 29th of May, around 33h)
  6. [Replay] Metal Gear Solid (PC) (Started the 29th of May, Finished the 5 of June, 8h32)
  7. [Replay] Metal Gear Solid 2 : Sons of Liberty (PS2) (Started the 7th of June, Finished the 15th of June, 13h29)
  8. [Replay] Metal Gear Solid 3 : Snake Eater (PS2) (Started the 18th of June, Finished the 29th of June, 22h25)
  9. [Replay] Metal Gear Solid 4 : Guns of the Patriots (PS3) (Started the 29th of June, Finished the 8th of July, 18h44)
  10. [2021] Metal Gear Solid : Peace Walker (PSP) (Started the 16h of July, true ending the 28th of July, 34h46)
  11. [2021] Metal Gear Solid V : Ground Zeroes (PS4) (main mission done the 30th of July, 2h06)
  12. Metal Gear Solid V : The Phantom Pain (PS4) (Started the 2nd of August, done the 20th of August, true ending in 63h)
  13. [Replay] Final Fantasy X (PS2) (Started the 21st of August, done the 17th of October, 79h)
  14. [Replay] Final Fantasy X-2 (PS2) (Started the 18th of October, done the 31st of October, 25h)
  15. Odin Sphere (PS2) (Started the 1st of November, gave up the 15th of November, 20+ hours)
  16. [2021] Radiant Historia : Perfect Chronology (3DS) (Started the 15th of November; done the 21 st of December, around 49h)
  17. [Replay] Dark Souls Remastered (PS4) (Started the 23th of December, done the 30 th of December, 20h49)
 
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Aurelius

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Great job InfiniteCombo InfiniteCombo .

Didn’t quite make it in 2020. Although I did play a lot of games from my backlog most of the year. I finished 11 of them, and gave up on 7 of them after giving them a proper try. During the year I did buy 3 games on sale. But only one of these was actually released in 2020. That was until December when I managed to find both a PS5 and Switch OLED and went a bit wild buying games in the end of year sales. The financial damage wasn’t that bad since I also sold some old games, traded in my old consoles and had a lot of accumulated store credits, discount coupons, etc. But the result was that my backlog has been nicely filled up for this year’s challenge.

I do have my eye on a couple of new games this year, and some DLC for games I already own.

Whishlist:
  • Advance Wars 1+2 Rebooted: already preordered and paid with Nintendo Online voucher.
  • Trek to Yomi: 2D black and white samurai slasher. Looks like a must buy.
  • Metal Slug Tactics: more turn-based strategy goodness! My favorite genre.
  • Elden Ring: looks great, but I want to play Demons Souls first and save this one for 2023. Although there is something special about going into a Souls games blind on release day when everybody is still figuring stuff out.
  • Breath of the Wild 2.
Taking this into consideration. I have decided to go for the "Kazuma Kiryu is disappointed in me because I play too many video games" Tier. 5 backlog games completed per 1 new 2022 game.

Current Backlog:

PlayStation 5
  • Astro’s Playroom
  • Demons Souls
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Yakuza Like a Dragon
  • A Plague Tale (PS+ free game)
  • God of War (PS+ free game)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS+ free game)
Nintendo Switch
  • Animal Crossing
  • Metroid Dread
  • Mario Odyssey
  • The Great Ace Attorney
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4
  • Thimbleweed Park
  • Horizon Chase
PlayStation Vita
  • Persona 4 The Golden (New Game+ replay)
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
PS4
  • Persona 5: The Royal done!
  • Resident Evil 2 gave up, fuck Mr. X.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider done!
  • Yakuza Kiwami 2 done!
  • Yakuza Kiwami gave up
  • Subnautica done!
  • Snowrunner (new) gave up
  • Persona 5 Strikers (new) done!
Nintendo Switch
  • Into The Breach gave up
  • Return of the Obra Dinn done
  • Katana Zero done
  • Animal Crossing gave up
  • Civilization VI done (but still playing now and then)
  • Street of Rage 4 gave up
  • Hotshot Racing (new) gave up
PSVita
  • Stardew Valley done!
  • Yomawari: Night Alone done!
  • Final Fantasy X HD done!
 
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Phase

Member
Sep 25, 2019
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Alright! Always glad to have you around bro.

What games did you get?
Okay here goes.

Policenauts
Ninja Gaiden 1+2
Zelda (nes)
Castlevania's (circle, harmony, aria)
Skyward Sword
No More Heroes
Blasphemous
Luigi's Mansion 3
Zelda: Minish Cap
Motorstorm Pacific Rift
Crime Cities
Kotor 1 and 2
RE hd remaster
Far Cry 3
Rayman Origins
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Yakuza Kiwami
Shenmue 2
Grandia hd remaster
Kenshi
Hollow Knight
Vampire The Masquerade Redemption
Beyond Good and Evil
Metroid Prime
Metal Gear Solid 1-4
Battlefront 2 (2005)
Praey for the Gods
Halo 5
Deus Ex Human Revolution
Insomnia The Ark
Unmetal
Halo Wars
Enclave
Outcast
System Shock 2
Arx Fatalis
Disco Elysium
Blade Runner
The Saboteur
Stasis
 

Bakkus

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Oct 12, 2014
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That's a nice list Phase Phase

Here are some games on my to do list for this year (not including 2022 releases):

SMT: Nocturne (currently playing)
It Takes Two (currently playing)
Metroid Dread (currently playing)
Psychonauts (maybe 2 as well)
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Bayonetta 2
Nier 1 and Automata (maybe I'll skip to Automata if I really despise the gameplay of the first game)
Cave Story
Ninja Gaiden Black
Conker's Bad Fur Day
Banjo-Tooie
Persona 5 (maybe not as likely due to it's length)
Doom (never played a single game in this series)
Beyond Good & Evil
Celeste
System Shock 2
Disco Elysium

And several more I think of playing. Damn.
 

SpiceRacz

Member
Feb 27, 2017
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Hazuki Dojo
Lets Go Reaction GIF by The Lonely Island


Starting with Shadow of The Tomb Raider.

My list so far for 2022:

Panzer Dragoon Saga
LoZ Minish Cap
Dragons Dogma
Ori & The Will of The Wisps
Sonic Colors
Psychonauts 2
Dead Space
Resident Evil Village
Death's Door
Disco Elysium
Shenmue 3
 
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Bakkus

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Oct 12, 2014
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Panzer Dragoon Saga
If I owned this, then it would be high on my list too. I'm considering buying repro discs of these on Etsy due to it being impossible to get an NTSC copy where I live. Yes, I would have bought it insanely expensive on Ebay if I wouldn't be screwed over by the toll customs.
 
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InfiniteCombo

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If I owned this, then it would be high on my list too. I'm considering buying repro discs of these on Etsy due to it being impossible to get an NTSC copy where I live. Yes, I would have bought it insanely expensive on Ebay if I wouldn't be screwed over by the toll customs.
Yo.

I'm gonna be that guy and say -- I've seen footage of Panzer Dragoon Saga and I.. I.... I just can't see the appeal? I'm sure it's a monumental achievement of some....
 

Bakkus

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Yo.

I'm gonna be that guy and say -- I've seen footage of Panzer Dragoon Saga and I.. I.... I just can't see the appeal? I'm sure it's a monumental achievement of some....
I think it's something you have to play for yourself to understand. Of course a gen 5 game in 3D on a console which could not do 3D well is not gonna look promising from a few gameplay clips. There isn't even a single long, detalied review/essay of it on YT. If it was only SEGA fanboys who gushed about it, I would be skeptical. But I've seen several people who are not rate it extremely high.
 

LegionX

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I'm going to jump back on to this for another year, and hope I have more of a 2019/2020 year than a 2021 as for whatever reason I wasn't in here for at least half the year, and played through less games than I have in many years.....

Like last year I'm going to be a bit soft so I suspect I'll only hit the 5 backlog to 1 new game ratio... If I can do better than that I'll try... and I should be able to manage the at least 1 backlog game per month goal

I literally have more games than I'll ever complete in my lifetime already so I'm not going on a specific list, but there ARE a few games I've already started and paused, or games I was waiting on the year to turn over for, so some that I very much hope get crossed off the list this year would be

Killzone Liberation - I started this one a couple years ago and for whatever reason I just keep dropping it, I'll make a tiny bit of progress and then just stop for 3-6 months....
Tales of Destiny DC - The last Tales game took me 2 years to complete... I started this one 6 months back... so if I finish it this year it'll be quicker than that at least?
Mass Effect - Bought the trilogy last year and have wanted to jump on it
Psychonauts 2 - I literally backed this when the crowd funding went up.. so it's about time to get to it!
Mafia III - Bought the trilogy last year, already owned the original 1 and 2, completed them last year so just the 3rd to go
Rayman - The Playstation original, started it last year and quickly stopped as it's actually really difficult and I need to dedicate proper time to getting good at it
Godfall - Started it last year.... it's pretty average... but as I've started it I kinda feel compelled to complete it
Cross Edge - PS3 JRPG I started a few years back and then randomly stopped playing... I do want to get back to ti and finish it off

I'll sprinkle a bunch of other games between them however, and odds are by the end of the year not all of them will be done.. but I'll try!
 

DelireMan7

Member
May 22, 2019
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My challenge :
No 2022 games (or as low as possible). I can buy older games. If I buy a game, I play it immediately avoid growing my backlog.

Physical Backlog* :
  • The Legend of Heroes : Trails in the Sky (PSP)
  • Rogue Galaxy (PS2)
  • Baldur's Gate : Siege of Dragonspear (PS4)
  • Baldur's Gate 2 : Shadows of Amn (PS4)
  • Baldur's Gate 2 : Throne of Bhaal (PS4)
  • Zelda Ocarina of time (N64)
  • Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
  • Project X Zone (3DS)
  • Brigandine : The legend of Runersia (Switch)
  • The Mark of Kri (PS2)
  • Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor 2 : Record Breaker (3DS)
  • Demon's Souls (PS5) Done !
*doesn't include PSplus free games

Games completed :
  1. Demon's Souls (PS5) (Started the 13th of December , finished the 3rd of January, 25h20)
And the year is on !

First, I need to say that I have a love/hate relationship with this game (OG Demon's Souls and the remake since they are basically the same game). I played it first after Dark Souls. I liked it but it really felt like a Beta version of Dark Souls. It had some problems on several levels but had some really good point also. I replayed it in 2020, and I really enjoyed it.

So no this is the third time I complete it.

I immediately need to clarify something : this remake is basically the original game released on PS5. I could call it a port "with shiny graphics".
Before playing it, I was a fanboy preaching the "don't change anything expect the graphics" and well it's what they did. Am I satisfied ? No ! Now that I can finally playing it, it felt really weird to play such a visually beautiful game with the clunky control of Demon's Souls. Something really felt off at the beginning. I got use to it but in the end I wish they modernized a bit the gameplay, expanded the moveset of weapons (very limited)...

They brought some QoL features but I think the main one is questionable. In the OG game, you are limited in the inventory weight. If you reached the limited you can't pick up item any more. So either you had to drop items to pick up the new ones or go back to the Nexus to store item and then travel back to pick up the items.
In the remake, they kept this system BUT they had the possibility to send directly items to the storage (from your inventory or directly items on the ground). So you can basically pick up every thing but still have to deal with the storage stuff when choosing armors or weapons. The inventory limit system is often disliked and I get why but it was a strong choice of the OG game. The addition of this QoL in the remake, puzzled me since it kind of remove the limit but you still have to deal with the storage. Either remove the limit entirely or keep the system as it was in the OG game.

On the other side, they kept some features which really feel outdated, especially when it was corrected in other Souls games : the trading system with the birds. In the OG, you drop an item near a certain tree, you quit the game, come back and you pick up your new item. Pretty annoying I would say. Well in the remake, it's exactly the same... Really ?! Quit and reload the game ?!

The game is visually stunning but something really disturbed me. They added facial animations on NPCs (but not all of them strangely) when they speak. But these animations are really awkward. The lips are moving but not the jaws.
I also prefer the voice acting in the OG game which had more personality. It felt flat on the remake for the most part.

I could complain a bit one the treatment of some music. The "Maiden in black" theme (Nexus' theme) was a minimalist masterpiece in the OG game. In the remake, they added choir voice and it's not minimalist anymore. The music in itself is really good but the change from the OG is too much in my opinion.

Others complaints I have were already present in the OG.
The game is brutally unfair on too many occasions (stupidly OP black phantom, narrow corridors where you can't fight,...). I already mentioned it on my post of 2020.
Most of the time, when I finally beat a challenging situation or enemy, I felt like I just found the good "cheese" rather than I really "got gud" like in the others Souls games.
The whole "human form" features disturbed me (world tendency and multiplayer). If I want to chain invasion or coop, I need to suicide each time to stay in "Soul form". It really breaks the immersion for me. It's an interesting system but need some fixing for me.
Too much farming needed for the upgrade system.

I told you I have a love/hate relationship with this game and I started with the hate. Now for the love...

Well this game as all the Souls game has a really particular atmosphere that I love. Walking in the nexus, speaking to NPC always feel good.
Also the game wants you to adapt to each situation, something I don't like at first (because I liked "strict" build) but I learn to enjoyed and created a set of weapons/spells that fits my characters and allow me to adapt to different situations.
The upgrade system is pretty cool (despite the farming) and allow a lot of customization. I dare to say it's probably my favorite of the Souls game.
Then the bosses for the most part are a wonder. They're all pretty unique and memorable, especially the last of each zones. It's always a pleasure to fight them.
The last boss of Bolateria is such a majestic fight ! Already in the OG, I always love that fight but in the remake it's next level : the new visuals with the reorchestrated music make it a true wonder.

My post is mostly focusing on the negative but again I really like this game. Each time I finish it, I know I will replay it at one point.
On the remake itself, I question the fact they didn't change anything while there are quite some stuff that could have been fixed in my opinion. And it made me realize that I want more than just a visual improvement from a remake.
But in the end, the game is still a wonder, and I am not gonna lie, those visuals are pretty nice to look at most of the time.
Like the OG game, this remake is a brutal and flawed masterpiece.

(And again I wrote too much. I really want to write less each time....)

What to play next :
Well I make a second run of Sekiro : Shadow Die Twice (started the 6th of January) to reassess my rather negative opinion. But I have to get back my copy from a friend. I am tempted to create a new character on Demon's Souls in between...
I want to stay on some action games so nothing from my backlog is really appealing at the moment for me. And replaying some Fromsoft games before Elden Ring sounds neat to my ears !
 
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Soodanim

Member
Feb 24, 2012
8,345
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My challenge :
No 2022 games (or as low as possible). I can buy older games. If I buy a game, I play it immediately avoid growing my backlog.

Physical Backlog* :
  • The Legend of Heroes : Trails in the Sky (PSP)
  • Rogue Galaxy (PS2)
  • Baldur's Gate : Siege of Dragonspear (PS4)
  • Baldur's Gate 2 : Shadows of Amn (PS4)
  • Baldur's Gate 2 : Throne of Bhaal (PS4)
  • Zelda Ocarina of time (N64)
  • Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
  • Project X Zone (3DS)
  • Brigandine : The legend of Runersia (Switch)
  • The Mark of Kri (PS2)
  • Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor 2 : Record Breaker (3DS)
  • Demon's Souls (PS5) Done !
*doesn't include PSplus free games

Games completed :
  1. Demon's Souls (PS5) (Started the 13th of December , finished the 3rd of January, 25h20)
And the year is on !

First, I need to say that I have a love/hate relationship with this game (OG Demon's Souls and the remake since they are basically the same game). I played it first after Dark Souls. I liked it but it really felt like a Beta version of Dark Souls. It had some problems on several levels but had some really good point also. I replayed it in 2020, and I really enjoyed it.

So no this is the third time I complete it.

I immediately need to clarify something : this remake is basically the original game released on PS5. I could call it a port "with shiny graphics".
Before playing it, I was a fanboy preaching the "don't change anything expect the graphics" and well it's what they did. Am I satisfied ? No ! Now that I can finally playing it, it felt really weird to play such a visually beautiful game with the clunky control of Demon's Souls. Something really felt off at the beginning. I got use to it but in the end I wish they modernized a bit the gameplay, expanded the moveset of weapons (very limited)...

They brought some QoL features but I think the main one is questionable. In the OG game, you are limited in the inventory weight. If you reached the limited you can't pick up item any more. So either you had to drop items to pick up the new ones or go back to the Nexus to store item and then travel back to pick up the items.
In the remake, they kept this system BUT they had the possibility to send directly items to the storage (from your inventory or directly items on the ground). So you can basically pick up every thing but still have to deal with the storage stuff when choosing armors or weapons. The inventory limit system is often disliked and I get why but it was a strong choice of the OG game. The addition of this QoL in the remake, puzzled me since it kind of remove the limit but you still have to deal with the storage. Either remove the limit entirely or keep the system as it was in the OG game.

On the other side, they kept some features which really feel outdated, especially when it was corrected in other Souls games : the trading system with the birds. In the OG, you drop an item near a certain tree, you quit the game, come back and you pick up your new item. Pretty annoying I would say. Well in the remake, it's exactly the same... Really ?! Quit and reload the game ?!

The game is visually stunning but something really disturbed me. They added facial animations on NPCs (but not all of them strangely) when they speak. But these animations are really awkward. The lips are moving but not the jaws.
I also prefer the voice acting in the OG game which had more personality. It felt flat on the remake for the most part.

I could complain a bit one the treatment of some music. The "Maiden in black" theme (Nexus' theme) was a minimalist masterpiece in the OG game. In the remake, they added choir voice and it's not minimalist anymore. The music in itself is really good but the change from the OG is too much in my opinion.

Others complaints I have were already present in the OG.
The game is brutally unfair on too many occasions (stupidly OP black phantom, narrow corridors where you can't fight,...). I already mentioned it on my post of 2020.
Most of the time, when I finally beat a challenging situation or enemy, I felt like I just found the good "cheese" rather than I really "got gud" like in the others Souls games.
The whole "human form" features disturbed me (world tendency and multiplayer). If I want to chain invasion or coop, I need to suicide each time to stay in "Soul form". It really breaks the immersion for me. It's an interesting system but need some fixing for me.
Too much farming needed for the upgrade system.

I told you I have a love/hate relationship with this game and I started with the hate. Now for the love...

Well this game as all the Souls game has a really particular atmosphere that I love. Walking in the nexus, speaking to NPC always feel good.
Also the game wants you to adapt to each situation, something I don't like at first (because I liked "strict" build) but I learn to enjoyed and created a set of weapons/spells that fits my characters and allow me to adapt to different situations.
The upgrade system is pretty cool (despite the farming) and allow a lot of customization. I dare to say it's probably my favorite of the Souls game.
Then the bosses for the most part are a wonder. They're all pretty unique and memorable, especially the last of each zones. It's always a pleasure to fight them.
The last boss of Bolateria is such a majestic fight ! Already in the OG, I always love that fight but in the remake it's next level : the new visuals with the reorchestrated music make it a true wonder.

My post is mostly focusing on the negative but again I really like this game. Each time I finish it, I know I will replay it at one point.
On the remake itself, I question the fact they didn't change anything while there are quite some stuff that could have been fixed in my opinion. And it made me realize that I want more than just a visual improvement from a remake.
But in the end, the game is still a wonder, and I am not gonna lie, those visuals are pretty nice to look at most of the time.
Like the OG game, this remake is a brutal and flawed masterpiece.

(And again I wrote too much. I really want to write less each time....)

What to play next :
Well I make a second run of Sekiro : Shadow Die Twice to reassess my rather negative opinion. But I have to get back my copy from a friend. I am tempted to create a new character on Demon's Souls in between...
I want to stay on some action games so nothing from my backlog is really appealing at the moment for me. And replaying some Fromsoft games before Elden Ring sounds neat to my ears !
As much as I would happily play the remake, I felt largely the same way you do about the flaws of the original (tendency!) and it's a shame that the same issues are still there. Demon's did a lot well - like you say, the bosses are great. Demon's never truly "clicked" for me though, despite me finishing it. Playing Dark Souls 1 I could feel the improvements as I played because they were so noticeable when they got it right. Maybe I'd enjoy the remake more with the 60fps option.
 
Last edited:

InfiniteCombo

Member
Jan 26, 2014
4,382
1,670
685
My challenge :
No 2022 games (or as low as possible). I can buy older games. If I buy a game, I play it immediately avoid growing my backlog.

Physical Backlog* :
  • The Legend of Heroes : Trails in the Sky (PSP)
  • Rogue Galaxy (PS2)
  • Baldur's Gate : Siege of Dragonspear (PS4)
  • Baldur's Gate 2 : Shadows of Amn (PS4)
  • Baldur's Gate 2 : Throne of Bhaal (PS4)
  • Zelda Ocarina of time (N64)
  • Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
  • Project X Zone (3DS)
  • Brigandine : The legend of Runersia (Switch)
  • The Mark of Kri (PS2)
  • Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor 2 : Record Breaker (3DS)
  • Demon's Souls (PS5) Done !
*doesn't include PSplus free games

Games completed :
  1. Demon's Souls (PS5) (Started the 13th of December , finished the 3rd of January, 25h20)
And the year is on !

First, I need to say that I have a love/hate relationship with this game (OG Demon's Souls and the remake since they are basically the same game). I played it first after Dark Souls. I liked it but it really felt like a Beta version of Dark Souls. It had some problems on several levels but had some really good point also. I replayed it in 2020, and I really enjoyed it.

So no this is the third time I complete it.

I immediately need to clarify something : this remake is basically the original game released on PS5. I could call it a port "with shiny graphics".
Before playing it, I was a fanboy preaching the "don't change anything expect the graphics" and well it's what they did. Am I satisfied ? No ! Now that I can finally playing it, it felt really weird to play such a visually beautiful game with the clunky control of Demon's Souls. Something really felt off at the beginning. I got use to it but in the end I wish they modernized a bit the gameplay, expanded the moveset of weapons (very limited)...

They brought some QoL features but I think the main one is questionable. In the OG game, you are limited in the inventory weight. If you reached the limited you can't pick up item any more. So either you had to drop items to pick up the new ones or go back to the Nexus to store item and then travel back to pick up the items.
In the remake, they kept this system BUT they had the possibility to send directly items to the storage (from your inventory or directly items on the ground). So you can basically pick up every thing but still have to deal with the storage stuff when choosing armors or weapons. The inventory limit system is often disliked and I get why but it was a strong choice of the OG game. The addition of this QoL in the remake, puzzled me since it kind of remove the limit but you still have to deal with the storage. Either remove the limit entirely or keep the system as it was in the OG game.

On the other side, they kept some features which really feel outdated, especially when it was corrected in other Souls games : the trading system with the birds. In the OG, you drop an item near a certain tree, you quit the game, come back and you pick up your new item. Pretty annoying I would say. Well in the remake, it's exactly the same... Really ?! Quit and reload the game ?!

The game is visually stunning but something really disturbed me. They added facial animations on NPCs (but not all of them strangely) when they speak. But these animations are really awkward. The lips are moving but not the jaws.
I also prefer the voice acting in the OG game which had more personality. It felt flat on the remake for the most part.

I could complain a bit one the treatment of some music. The "Maiden in black" theme (Nexus' theme) was a minimalist masterpiece in the OG game. In the remake, they added choir voice and it's not minimalist anymore. The music in itself is really good but the change from the OG is too much in my opinion.

Others complaints I have were already present in the OG.
The game is brutally unfair on too many occasions (stupidly OP black phantom, narrow corridors where you can't fight,...). I already mentioned it on my post of 2020.
Most of the time, when I finally beat a challenging situation or enemy, I felt like I just found the good "cheese" rather than I really "got gud" like in the others Souls games.
The whole "human form" features disturbed me (world tendency and multiplayer). If I want to chain invasion or coop, I need to suicide each time to stay in "Soul form". It really breaks the immersion for me. It's an interesting system but need some fixing for me.
Too much farming needed for the upgrade system.

I told you I have a love/hate relationship with this game and I started with the hate. Now for the love...

Well this game as all the Souls game has a really particular atmosphere that I love. Walking in the nexus, speaking to NPC always feel good.
Also the game wants you to adapt to each situation, something I don't like at first (because I liked "strict" build) but I learn to enjoyed and created a set of weapons/spells that fits my characters and allow me to adapt to different situations.
The upgrade system is pretty cool (despite the farming) and allow a lot of customization. I dare to say it's probably my favorite of the Souls game.
Then the bosses for the most part are a wonder. They're all pretty unique and memorable, especially the last of each zones. It's always a pleasure to fight them.
The last boss of Bolateria is such a majestic fight ! Already in the OG, I always love that fight but in the remake it's next level : the new visuals with the reorchestrated music make it a true wonder.

My post is mostly focusing on the negative but again I really like this game. Each time I finish it, I know I will replay it at one point.
On the remake itself, I question the fact they didn't change anything while there are quite some stuff that could have been fixed in my opinion. And it made me realize that I want more than just a visual improvement from a remake.
But in the end, the game is still a wonder, and I am not gonna lie, those visuals are pretty nice to look at most of the time.
Like the OG game, this remake is a brutal and flawed masterpiece.

(And again I wrote too much. I really want to write less each time....)

What to play next :
Well I make a second run of Sekiro : Shadow Die Twice to reassess my rather negative opinion. But I have to get back my copy from a friend. I am tempted to create a new character on Demon's Souls in between...
I want to stay on some action games so nothing from my backlog is really appealing at the moment for me. And replaying some Fromsoft games before Elden Ring sounds neat to my ears !
This is an amazing post dude. Busy at work at the moment but I may reply with a comment or question later. Cheers!
 

Bakkus

Member
Oct 12, 2014
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Was up all night to finish a 100% run of Metroid Dread. Damn, this was really good! It's your classic 2D Metroid with some new ideas. The biggest change is probably the boss battles. They are way more complex, which is to be expected since there hasn't been a 2D game since the GBA and SNES (other than the Samus Returns remake by the same developers which I did not play, please remaster that game on Switch, I can't go back to the 3DS). This might be my second favorite game in the series. Super Metroid is still the king, though.

Is it cheating to put a game that isn't even a year old, let alone 3 months on here? It didn't come out this year after all.
 
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LegionX

Member
Sep 6, 2012
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Is it cheating to put a game that isn't even a year old, let alone 3 months on here? It didn't come out this year after all.
Not at all, as the year ticks over it all starts from new again... I'm pretty sure some even make some late Dec purchases for this reason... probably not 100% within the spirit of the original reason for the thread back in the day... but nobody's perfect right?
 

Bakkus

Member
Oct 12, 2014
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Not at all, as the year ticks over it all starts from new again... I'm pretty sure some even make some late Dec purchases for this reason... probably not 100% within the spirit of the original reason for the thread back in the day... but nobody's perfect right?
Well, good. Because the next game I'm finishing is also most likely a 2021 game. But that one is almost a year old now.
 

Phase

Member
Sep 25, 2019
2,163
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665
I think this year I'm going to keep track of games I drop and games I finish. I've revised my backlog to include the games I installed on Epic and tried out so far this year, as well as those from GOG that I acquired from the Christmas sale. It will be cool to log my playtime with a few specifics as well (i.e. avg game length, avg age, etc.) and then take a look at the end of the year. I'll use spoilers as to not have super lengthy posts.

Arx Fatalis
Battlefront 2 (2005)
Beyond Good and Evil
Bioshock Remastered -> added
Blade Runner
Blasphemous
Blaster Master Zero -> added
Castlevania's (circle, harmony, aria)
Clive Barker's Undying -> added
Crime Cities
Deus Ex Human Revolution
Disco Elysium
Earthbound -> added
Enclave
Far Cry 3 -> dropped
Gothic 2 -> added
Grandia hd remaster
Halo 5 -> finished
Halo CE -> finished

Halo Wars
Hard Reset -> added
Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders -> added
Hexen 1+2 -> added

Hollow Knight
Insomnia The Ark
Kenshi
Kotor 1 and 2
Luigi's Mansion 3
Mages of Mystralia -> dropped
Metal Gear Solid 1-4
Metroid Prime -> dropped
Motorstorm Pacific Rift
Ninja Gaiden 1+2
No More Heroes
Outcast
Outwars -> added
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Policenauts
Praey for the Gods -> dropped
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc -> finished
Rayman Origins-> dropped
RE hd remaster
Rise of the Tomb Raider -> added
Salt and Sanctuary -> dropped
Second Extinction -> dropped

Shadow of the Tomb Raider -> added
Shenmue 2
SiN Gold -> added
Skyward Sword
Stasis
Strife: Veteran's Edition -> added
System Shock 2
The Saboteur
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter -> dropped
The Witness -> dropped

Tomb Raider 2013 -> added
Tomb Raider: Legend -> finished
Transister -> dropped
Unmetal
Unreal Tournament 3: Black Edition -> added
Vampire The Masquerade Redemption
Vampyr -> dropped
Yakuza Kiwami
Zelda: A Link to the Past
Zelda (nes)
Zelda: Minish Cap
Arx Fatalis
Battlefront 2 (2005)
Beyond Good and Evil
Bioshock Remastered
Blade Runner
Blasphemous
Blaster Master Zero
Castlevania's (circle, harmony, aria)
Clive Barker's Undying
Crime Cities
Deus Ex Human Revolution
Disco Elysium
Earthbound
Enclave
Gothic 2
Grandia hd remaster
Halo Wars
Hard Reset
Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders
Hexen 1+2
Hollow Knight
Insomnia The Ark
Kenshi
Kotor 1 and 2
Luigi's Mansion 3
Metal Gear Solid 1-4
Motorstorm Pacific Rift
Ninja Gaiden 1+2
No More Heroes
Outcast
Outwars
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Policenauts
RE hd remaster
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shenmue 2
SiN Gold
Skyward Sword
Stasis
Strife: Veteran's Edition
System Shock 2
The Saboteur
Tomb Raider 2013
Unmetal
Unreal Tournament 3: Black Edition
Vampire The Masquerade Redemption
Yakuza Kiwami
Zelda: A Link to the Past
Zelda (nes)
Zelda: Minish Cap
The first 4 completions of the year:


1. Halo 5: Guardians (XB1X) | 1st Jan - 6hrs
A few of the Sanghelios levels are fun (mostly because you're fighting the covenant), but the rest is mediocre. The enemies 343 created just aren't fun to fight.

2. Halo: Combat Evolved (PC) | 2nd Jan - 8hrs
Continuing my out of order playthroughs with the one and only. It really is an atmospheric masterpiece. Only CE pulls me into its world so wholly, and keeps me there with its elegantly simple mechanics (and great HUD).

3. Tomb Raider: Legend (PC) | 6th Jan - 5hrs
Very enjoyable, and the motorcycle sequences added some laughs. It's is just the right amount of arcade-infused gameplay.

4. Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc (PC) | 9th Jan - 8hrs
A decent 3d platformer with good music, though often clunky (even with the handy lock-on the game has). Bosses? Boring, and some segments of the game are frustrating (e.g. when you set out to sea in the ship).
 
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Ryuji Goda

Member
Dec 3, 2018
321
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525
Done with Arkham City. Great game but getting all the Riddler trophies is too much work.

Just started with Little Nightmares II. I really liked the first one.

It's really cool so far, also quite creepy. A little too much trial & error so far though (maybe I'm just bad at the game).

 
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Ryuji Goda

Member
Dec 3, 2018
321
723
525
On 360 I started playing Gears of War 2.

[edit]

Just started the game and got through the tutorial section with the new Carmine.

It's been a while since I've played Gears 1 but part 2 reminded me how much I like the franchise; the look of the world, the enemies, weapons, characters etc.

Also, really funny so far.

 
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InfiniteCombo

Member
Jan 26, 2014
4,382
1,670
685
How was it? I only played 0 and Kiwami 1 and 2.
Best since Kiwami 2.

5 characters so lots of play style variety. Engine is older than the engines of the games you listed so it may ever so slightly outdated in the controls department, but the story is still pretty engaging (of course with its big share of contrivance and high levels of Japanese melodrama that ALL Yakuza games have 😂)
 
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Quasicat

Member
Aug 8, 2019
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I’m in, but I do have one exception, and that is the TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge game. That title is something that a group of us are purchasing to rekindle those old arcade moments from our childhood. I do have $50 in eShop credit from Christmas that I’m waiting to use on it, so I’m not spending any of my money this year.
Other than that, I’m wanting to play Dreamcast and go through some old imports I picked up years ago when they were dirt cheap. I just need to dig and find them.
 
Jul 22, 2021
456
437
275
I only just discovered this thread. I'm in, going for the 'Kiryu is disappointed in you' tier. I've already beaten 5 games on my backlog this year -

- Horizon Zero Dawn
- The Last of Us Remastered
- The Last of Us: Left Behind (does this count)
- Ratchet & Clank (2016)
- inFamous Second Son

I'm playing two right now (Uncharted 4 & God of War) and have 10 on my backlog so it works out well.
 
Jul 22, 2021
456
437
275
Yes, yes it does. DLC (of the expansion/episodic type) counts as separate games, for sure. I should add this to the original post to clarify.
All good mate, I just wasn't sure because Left Behind is only a couple hours long. Just to clarify, for every 5 games on my backlog I beat, I can buy/play 1 2022 game? Because I want Elden Ring in Feb hehe
 
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InfiniteCombo

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All good mate, I just wasn't sure because Left Behind is only a couple hours long. Just to clarify, for every 5 games on my backlog I beat, I can buy/play 1 2022 game? Because I want Elden Ring in Feb hehe
Haha yes, you've got it right.

But in general, glad you're with us, man. Although the general categories are meant for encouragement, there are no "set in stone" hard and fast rules here; it's all about getting people to play the games that they paid money for 😂

I myself have already finished two games this year, and will be doing write-ups tonight. Cheers!
 
Jul 22, 2021
456
437
275
Haha yes, you've got it right.

But in general, glad you're with us, man. Although the general categories are meant for encouragement, there are no "set in stone" hard and fast rules here; it's all about getting people to play the games that they paid money for 😂

I myself have already finished two games this year, and will be doing write-ups tonight. Cheers!
Cool. Thank you, I'm glad to be here! I actually made a similar thread a few days ago but I didn't know this one already existed.

Look forward to reading your write ups. 😁 I should do some for the games I've played.
 
Jul 22, 2021
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So I got a PS5 to play the console exclusive games for the PS4 gen and current gen. These are what I've played (in order) and my thoughts so far:

1. Horizon Zero Dawn - 4.5/5. I loved this game. Great graphics, interesting story line. The star of the game was the open world. I liked Aloy a lot. I found it very easy to get overlevelled on side quests. I did most of those and then just cruised through the rest of the story missions. For my first game in my PS exclusive journey it was a great start.

2. The Last of Us Remastered - 4.5/5. Even though a remake is coming, I got this for $9 new. It took a few chapters to get going but when it did it was good. Great characters.

3. The Last of Us: Left Behind - 4/5. I didn't expect much from this short DLC but I actually liked some parts better than the base game. Ellie is great.

4. Ratchet & Clank - 3.5/5. First Ratchet game I ever played. Short and sweet game, I did not do all the optional missions but I did some. Not as amazing as the first three games on this list but still a fun time. The weapons are good

5. inFamous Second Son - 3/5. I Loved inFamous 1 on PS3 so had to check this one out. Unfortunately I didn't think it was as good and I actually dropped it about halfway. I came back a few days later and knocked it out. I liked Fetch and the neon powers. Delsin kinda bad compared to Cole from first game.

I started Detroit Become Human but I dropped it after a couple of hours. It's not bad, good even, but not my cup of tea. I'm playing Uncharted 4 (Chapter 12) and God of War (2018) now. Will update when I clear those.

My backlog:
- Days Gone
- Death Stranding
- God of War III Remastered
- inFamous First Light
- The Last Guardian
- The Last of Us Part II
- Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart
- Shadow of the Colossus
- Spiderman
- Uncharted Lost Legacy
 
Last edited:

InfiniteCombo

Member
Jan 26, 2014
4,382
1,670
685
My backlog. Obviously I likely won't be able to get to every game, but I'm gonna go squarely for the Platinum backlog category this year (zero plans to buy any games released this year, no matter what they are).

This is an initial list, I'll add more stuff as the year goes on on; I intend to be pretty aggressive with my backlog this year (wondering if I should join the 52-game challenge? :messenger_grimmacing_....). Depending on my mood I may not get to everything on here, and add stuff that I play spontaneously, etc. At this point my backlog is deep enough to last me a lifetime of gaming.

PC:
Konami Arcade Classics (multiple games; I've already played some of them last year)
Capcom Beat 'em Up Bundle
Castlevania Collection
Castlevania Advance Collection
Crash Bandicoot N'Sane Trilogy
Cuphead
Dark Souls (excited for this, have never played it)
Darksiders
Dead Space
The Evil Within
Fight'N Rage
Half-Life
Half-Life 2 (I'm more excited about this than I am about part 1)
Halo MCC
Red Dead Redemption 2
Yakuza 5 Remastered
Yakuza 6 [completed on 1/13/2022] (post)
Yakuza: Like a Dragon

SNES (I have a ton of games on cart that I haven't gotten to yet, now is the time)
Final Fantasy II (IV)
Final Fantasy III (VI)
The Adventures of Batman and Robin
Joe & Mac
Joe & Mac 2
Killer Instinct (I played it before but want to "learn it properly" this time)

Switch
Zelda: Link's Awakeking Remake
Super Mario 3D World (I'm counting the main game and Bowser's Fury as two separate entities)
New Super Mario Bros. U
Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Sega Genesis
Sonic 2
Sonic 3 & Knuckles (yes, I have both, "lock on" stuff is pretty cool)
Aladdin
Castlevania
Contra: Hard Corps
 
Last edited:

InfiniteCombo

Member
Jan 26, 2014
4,382
1,670
685
+ 1. Total backlog completed games: 1.

Yakuza 6, on PC.



TL;DR version: The switch to the Dragon Engine is awesome. The story is good and provides great closure to the arc of Kiryu and Haruka. Combat is decent, not as good as 0/Kiwami, but better than the older games. Substories and side missions are awesome. Game is paced decently well, the main story can be completed between 15-20 hours, depending on how many substories you do). If you're just a regular Yakuza series fan, or even a fan of beat 'em ups or open sandbox games, it's really worth checking this out!

Pros:
+ Nice graphics. Game is definitely shiny, and going from Yakuza 5 (or even Yakuza 0) to this is a nice step up. Facial models were the biggest gain, but in general everything is sharper and more detailed (if a bit "shiny," especially at night). NPCs vary from nice and detailed to... kind of generic, so they can be hit or miss. One thing though, is to play this game with all bells and whistles at high/max settings, anything less than a GTX 1070 Ti (which is what I have) will tax your card heavily. My 1070Ti could keep up but at times struggled. But for the most part, I was happy that with just a tuning a couple of settings, I was able to get a nice and (mostly steady) 60fps at 1440p.

+ Good story. Provides great closure to the story arc of Kiryu and Haruka, who (for series fans) are characters we've spent time with since Yakuza 1 (or in my case, Yakuza 0 which is where I came in to the series). And yes, I say "and Haruka" because, love her or hate her, I see her as a co-protagonist of the Kiryu saga. After Yakuza 4 and 5, which had multi-character, long, convoluted, and overly contrived plots (which is saying a lot since Yakuza plots are generally heavily contrived), this felt smaller and more intimate, which reminds me of the story of Yakuza 1/Kiwami. The reason I say the story is just "good" (and not "great") is because Yakuza has seen better stories: Kiwami, Kiwami 2, and to some extent even 0 have better stories.

+ Good pacing. The game can be completed between 15 to 20 hours; I completed it at around the 22-hour mark because I chose to do some side missions and up my stats. The main action happens mostly in two cities: Kamurocho, which is the city we've all come to know from Kiryu's games; and Onomichi, a small (the closest Japanese approximation to the what in America is known as "redneck") town in Hiroshima. This makes it feel a bit like a remake of Yakuza 3, which split its time between Kamurocho and Okinawa. Anyway, Onomichi is pretty small compared to Kamurocho, and there's a heavy amount of Japanese folkloric/cultural references. For Japan-loving weebos, this is perfect. (For me, it was nice to see, as I generally like learning about cultures; but I don't fetishize Japan specifically, because I'm not a fucking weebo, LOL).

+ Good combat. A step up from Yakuza 3, 4, and 5, but a step down from 0/Kiwami. Unlike 0/Kiwami, you only have one fighting style, but they give you plenty of options in that style -- plenty of heat actions, plenty of moves (including the now-mythical "Tiger Drop" known to Yakuza fans, which has gotten a much needed nerf in this game -- move was comically overpowered in Kiwami). And, given Yakuza's history of having "tanky" bosses, you get to be tanky now too! There's an "Extreme Heat Mode" that, when triggered, lasts a little while and makes Kiryu super powered and tanky -- enemies can't interrupt your moves (although you still take damage if they hit you) and you get super heat actions. Once you do some upgrades, the combat flows smoothly and feels nice; between Yakuza 0/Kiwami and this game/Kiwami 2, it's almost the logical conclusion of what a beat 'em up can do from a mechanics perspective.

+ Substories and side missions. You have all your usual Yakuza stuff -- Karaoke (which has gotten a facelift from 5, and the songs are GREAT here!), hostess clubs, the SEGA arcade games (e.g., Outrun, Virtua Fighter 2.1, Space Harrier, etc), darts, pool, etc; as well as new additions like an App (called "Troublr") which lets you know of trouble missions going on around town, as well as fishing, and a Tower Defense-like minigame that's fairly involved. The substories took a bit of a hit in 3, 4, and 5 (especially 4; that game was almost devoid of side stories!), but since this game came out after 0, it shows; the substories here get back some of the wild/crazy/surreal elements that people loved in 0. The substories are generally in two main types: "social media" centric (there's a substory with a Siri-like personal assistant that's pretty funny) and "Japanese folklore and culture" centric (mostly the stuff in Onomichi). I haven't done a single bad substory. There's an incredible amount of good writing and humanity in the substories. [EDIT: I forgot to mention, unlike previous Yakuza games, ALL substories are voiced here. Which is great if you like Yakuza's voice acting, which I do].

Cons:
- Combat downgrade. Again, the combat here is serviceable (I would even say good), but it is not as good as the glory days of 0/Kiwami; those other games gave you 4 styles that could be switched on the fly and were, in my opinion, the culmination of what a beat 'em up could do.

- Lack of many Yakuza series regulars: This is not overly spoilery, but given the focus on Kiryu to close out his saga, there's a noticeable lack of Yakuza series regulars Daigo, Saejima, and most especially fan-favorite Goro Majima, who's practically absent all game. Some of the villains are not as appealing as in previous games; here there are a handful of assholes with supremely punchable faces (which I guess is great because Kiryu does a lot of punching).

As with my usual long ass posts, I include pictures; do note that these are at a 2560x1440 resolution and I had to tone down a couple of graphics settings so my GTX 1070 Ti would handle it.

Japanese Michael Corleone: "Every time I get out, they pull me back in!"




Shun Akiyama with not only a sick burn, but a pretty good one-sentence summary of the way Kiryu's behaved throughout the ENTIRE series:




There's a big baseball presence in this game. Picture also shows the facial expression Kiryu makes 95% of the time :messenger_tears_of_joy:



Onomichi, Hiroshima:



Korean Vergil (to those of you who have played games in the "Devil May Cry" series, you'll get the reference)




Do you even lift, bro!? The fitness minigame is actually pretty basic but also pretty fun.



NSFW ALERT


NSFW ALERT



At the internet cafe Kiryu can "live chat" with chicks -- they're not digital, they're real life models who strip as seen below. Also, paging Javthusiast Javthusiast , I'm sure this is up his alley :messenger_tears_of_joy:






*END OF NSFW WARNING*

I'm not gonna say what the picture below is about -- let's just say that in my opinion it's the absolutely BEST substory in the entire Yakuza series. And that's saying a lot, given all the awesome substories in 0, Kiwami 2, and in this game:



"Dojima no Ryu"



Dynamic intros make a return! This almost looks like a "Sega vs Nintendo" battle, as the dude you're fighting looks a lot like the late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata:



One of many examples of the insight into Japanese culture. This substory seems to be a carry-over from Haruka's story from Yakuza 5. Sounds like the Pop Idol business in Japan is all sorts of psychologically fucked up:

 
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InfiniteCombo

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I'll post my thoughts on Yakuza 5 later. I'll keep doing small side missions/substories in all the Yakuza games (3 - 6) over time (because those games are THAT fun), but for now it's time to move on to Red Dead Redemption 2. Hope my graphics card doesn't spontaneously combust while trying to run the game :messenger_tears_of_joy:

EDIT: I'm not going to celebrate just yet, I'm sure that when I get to an actual town, things will change. But in the first couple of missions in Red Dead 2, at 1440p on "Ultra" textures, my GTX 1070 Ti can still pull a framerate in the 40s. WHAT??? I'm (pleasantly) surprised, but again I'm sure once I hit big battles in populated towns, the framerate will tank.
 
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My backlog. Obviously I likely won't be able to get to every game, but I'm gonna go squarely for the Platinum backlog category this year (zero plans to buy any games released this year, no matter what they are).

This is an initial list, I'll add more stuff as the year goes on on; I intend to be pretty aggressive with my backlog this year (wondering if I should join the 52-game challenge? :messenger_grimmacing_....). Depending on my mood I may not get to everything on here, and add stuff that I play spontaneously, etc. At this point my backlog is deep enough to last me a lifetime of gaming.

PC:
Konami Arcade Classics (multiple games; I've already played some of them last year)
Capcom Beat 'em Up Bundle
Castlevania Collection
Castlevania Advance Collection
Crash Bandicoot N'Sane Trilogy
Cuphead
Dark Souls (excited for this, have never played it)
Darksiders
Dead Space
The Evil Within
Fight'N Rage
Half-Life
Half-Life 2 (I'm more excited about this than I am about part 1)
Halo MCC
Red Dead Redemption 2
Yakuza 5 Remastered
Yakuza 6 [completed on 1/13/2022] (post)
Yakuza: Like a Dragon

SNES (I have a ton of games on cart that I haven't gotten to yet, now is the time)
Final Fantasy II (IV)
Final Fantasy III (VI)
The Adventures of Batman and Robin
Joe & Mac
Joe & Mac 2
Killer Instinct (I played it before but want to "learn it properly" this time)

Switch
Zelda: Link's Awakeking Remake
Super Mario 3D World (I'm counting the main game and Bowser's Fury as two separate entities)
New Super Mario Bros. U
Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Sega Genesis
Sonic 2
Sonic 3 & Knuckles (yes, I have both, "lock on" stuff is pretty cool)
Aladdin
Castlevania
Contra: Hard Corps
You could probably knock out all the Switch, SNES & Genesis games this year, depending on your style of play.

Also, good Yakuza 6 write up. I'm actually up to 3 Remastered. I didn't count it though because I don't know if I'll get through it, there's so damn many!
 
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InfiniteCombo

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You could probably knock out all the Switch, SNES & Genesis games this year, depending on your style of play.
Good point. My style of play is... Very inconsistent, due in large part to (1) being very busy at work -- not only is my job busy in general, but on top of that I supervise a small team of people so that's extra responsibilities on top of my own work I have to do -- and (2) having a very active social life. I guess Covid has reduced #2 by quite a lot in the past couple of years.

But when I'm on a gaming streak like I've been on in the past couple of weeks, I can knock out a good number of games...

Also, good Yakuza 6 write up. I'm actually up to 3 Remastered. I didn't count it though because I don't know if I'll get through it, there's so damn many!
NICE! As for there being many... Haha, I feel you man. Don't rush through them because you'll get burned out for sure. But, on an encouraging note, 3 Remastered is quite literally THE low point in the series, as far as combat goes. (I'm on mobile now and it'll take me a little while to find it, but I did a Yakuza 3 write-up in the 2021 version of this thread...).

Cheers! Remind me -- what are you playing right now?
 
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Good point. My style of play is... Very inconsistent, due in large part to (1) being very busy at work -- not only is my job busy in general, but on top of that I supervise a small team of people so that's extra responsibilities on top of my own work I have to do -- and (2) having a very active social life. I guess Covid has reduced #2 by quite a lot in the past couple of years.

But when I'm on a gaming streak like I've been on in the past couple of weeks, I can knock out a good number of games...


NICE! As for there being many... Haha, I feel you man. Don't rush through them because you'll get burned out for sure. But, on an encouraging note, 3 Remastered is quite literally THE low point in the series, as far as combat goes. (I'm on mobile now and it'll take me a little while to find it, but I did a Yakuza 3 write-up in the 2021 version of this thread...).

Cheers! Remind me -- what are you playing right now?
I do like Yakuza 3. Okinawa is cool.

I'm playing God of War (2018) and Uncharted 4. I'm probably 3/4 done with GoW and about halfway through Uncharted
 
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InfiniteCombo

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I do like Yakuza 3. Okinawa is cool.

I'm playing God of War (2018) and Uncharted 4. I'm probably 3/4 done with GoW and about halfway through Uncharted
Looking forward to your thoughts on those!

I had an amazing time with God of War, and I'm a huge Uncharted series fan and while I enjoyed 4, for me it was a bit of a step down from 2 and even 3.
 
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Looking forward to your thoughts on those!

I had an amazing time with God of War, and I'm a huge Uncharted series fan and while I enjoyed 4, for me it was a bit of a step down from 2 and even 3.
Yeah it took several hours but I'm glad I stuck with GoW because it took a while to grow on me. I played Uncharted 1-3 on PS3 back when PS3 was hip. To be honest, I remember enjoying those more than I'm enjoying 4 right now. It might be nostalgia though. The car chase in Madagascar was pretty amazing.

I actually added a few games to my collection/backlog today. None were 2022 games tho
 
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InfiniteCombo

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+ 1. Total backlog completed games: 1.

Yakuza 6, on PC.

TL;DR version: The switch to the Dragon Engine is awesome. The story is good and provides great closure to the arc of Kiryu and Haruka. Combat is decent, not as good as 0/Kiwami, but better than the older games. Substories and side missions are awesome. Game is paced decently well, the main story can be completed between 15-20 hours, depending on how many substories you do). If you're just a regular Yakuza series fan, or even a fan of beat 'em ups or open sandbox games, it's really worth checking this out!

Pros:
+ Nice graphics. Game is definitely shiny, and going from Yakuza 5 (or even Yakuza 0) to this is a nice step up. Facial models were the biggest gain, but in general everything is sharper and more detailed (if a bit "shiny," especially at night). NPCs vary from nice and detailed to... kind of generic, so they can be hit or miss. One thing though, is to play this game with all bells and whistles at high/max settings, anything less than a GTX 1070 Ti (which is what I have) will tax your card heavily. My 1070Ti could keep up but at times struggled. But for the most part, I was happy that with just a tuning a couple of settings, I was able to get a nice and (mostly steady) 60fps at 1440p.

+ Good story. Provides great closure to the story arc of Kiryu and Haruka, who (for series fans) are characters we've spent time with since Yakuza 1 (or in my case, Yakuza 0 which is where I came in to the series). And yes, I say "and Haruka" because, love her or hate her, I see her as a co-protagonist of the Kiryu saga. After Yakuza 4 and 5, which had multi-character, long, convoluted, and overly contrived plots (which is saying a lot since Yakuza plots are generally heavily contrived), this felt smaller and more intimate, which reminds me of the story of Yakuza 1/Kiwami. The reason I say the story is just "good" (and not "great") is because Yakuza has seen better stories: Kiwami, Kiwami 2, and to some extent even 0 have better stories.

+ Good pacing. The game can be completed between 15 to 20 hours; I completed it at around the 22-hour mark because I chose to do some side missions and up my stats. The main action happens mostly in two cities: Kamurocho, which is the city we've all come to know from Kiryu's games; and Onimichi, a small (the closest Japanese approximation to the what in America is known as "redneck") town in Hiroshima. This makes it feel a bit like a remake of Yakuza 3, which split its time between Kamurocho and Okinawa. Anyway, Onimichi is pretty small compared to Kamurocho, and there's a heavy amount of Japanese folkloric/cultural references. For Japan-loving weebos, this is perfect. (For me, it was nice to see, as I generally like learning about cultures; but I don't fetishize Japan specifically, because I'm not a fucking weebo, LOL).

+ Good combat. A step up from Yakuza 3, 4, and 5, but a step down from 0/Kiwami. Unlike 0/Kiwami, you only have one fighting style, but they give you plenty of options in that style -- plenty of heat actions, plenty of moves (including the now-mythical "Tiger Drop" known to Yakuza fans, which has gotten a much needed nerf in this game -- move was comically overpowered in Kiwami). And, given Yakuza's history of having "tanky" bosses, you get to be tanky now too! There's an "Extreme Heat Mode" that, when triggered, lasts a little while and makes Kiryu super powered and tanky -- enemies can't interrupt your moves (although you still take damage if they hit you) and you get super heat actions. Once you do some upgrades, the combat flows smoothly and feels nice; between Yakuza 0/Kiwami and this game/Kiwami 2, it's almost the logical conclusion of what a beat 'em up can do from a mechanics perspective.

+ Substories and side missions. You have all your usual Yakuza stuff -- Karaoke (which has gotten a facelift from 5, and the songs are GREAT here!), hostess clubs, the SEGA arcade games (e.g., Outrun, Virtua Fighter 2.1, Space Harrier, etc), darts, pool, etc; as well as new additions like an App (called "Troublr") which lets you know of trouble missions going on around town, as well as fishing, and a Tower Defense-like minigame that's fairly involved. The substories took a bit of a hit in 3, 4, and 5 (especially 4; that game was almost devoid of side stories!), but since this game came out after 0, it shows; the substories here get back some of the wild/crazy/surreal elements that people loved in 0. The substories are generally in two main types: "social media" centric (there's a substory with a Siri-like personal assistant that's pretty funny) and "Japanese folklore and culture" centric (mostly the stuff in Onimichi). I haven't done a single bad substory. There's an incredible amount of good writing and humanity in the substories. [EDIT: I forgot to mention, unlike previous Yakuza games, ALL substories are voiced here. Which is great if you like Yakuza's voice acting, which I do].

Cons:
- Combat downgrade. Again, the combat here is serviceable (I would even say good), but it is not as good as the glory days of 0/Kiwami; those other games gave you 4 styles that could be switched on the fly and were, in my opinion, the culmination of what a beat 'em up could do.

- Lack of many Yakuza series regulars: This is not overly spoilery, but given the focus on Kiryu to close out his saga, there's a noticeable lack of Yakuza series regulars Daigo, Saejima, and most especially fan-favorite Goro Majima, who's practically absent all game. Some of the villains are not as appealing as in previous games; here there are a handful of assholes with supremely punchable faces (which I guess is great because Kiryu does a lot of punching).

As with my usual long ass posts, I include pictures; do note that these are at a 2560x1440 resolution and I had to tone down a couple of graphics settings so my GTX 1070 Ti would handle it.

Japanese Michael Corleone: "Every time I get out, they pull me back in!"




Shun Akiyama with not only a sick burn, but a pretty good one-sentence summary of the way Kiryu's behaved throughout the ENTIRE series:




There's a big baseball presence in this game. Picture also shows the facial expression Kiryu makes 95% of the time :messenger_tears_of_joy:



Onimichi, Hiroshima:



Korean Vergil (to those of you who have played games in the "Devil May Cry" series, you'll get the reference)




Do you even lift, bro!? The fitness minigame is actually pretty basic but also pretty fun.



NSFW ALERT


NSFW ALERT



At the internet cafe Kiryu can "live chat" with chicks -- they're not digital, they're real life models who strip as seen below. Also, paging Javthusiast Javthusiast , I'm sure this is up his alley :messenger_tears_of_joy:






*END OF NSFW WARNING*

I'm not gonna say what the picture below is about -- let's just say that in my opinion it's the absolutely BEST substory in the entire Yakuza series. And that's saying a lot, given all the awesome substories in 0, Kiwami 2, and in this game:



"Dojima no Ryu"



Dynamic intros make a return! This almost looks like a "Sega vs Nintendo" battle, as the dude you're fighting looks a lot like the late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata:



One of many examples of the insight into Japanese culture. This substory seems to be a carry-over from Haruka's story from Yakuza 5. Sounds like the Pop Idol business in Japan is all sorts of psychologically fucked up:


This is worth mentioning as a separate post -- unlike previous Yakuza games, ALL substories in Yakuza 6 are voiced (as oppose to just text-based). Which, if you like the voice acting in Yakuza (which I do! It's one of the series' biggest strengths), is awesome.
 

InfiniteCombo

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+ 1. Total backlog completed games: 2.

Yakuza 5 Remastered, on PC.



TL;DR version. A graphical and gameplay improvement over 4 in several ways. Combined with great voice acting, appealing characters, side missions, and a super steady 60fps, this is a worthy action/beat 'em up RPG to play. It does, however, get dragged a bit by pacing issues, potentially repetitive side quests, and an overly convoluted story that sometimes overstays its welcome.

Pros:
+ Varied gameplay. There are 5 playable characters; 4 can fight in the traditional beat 'em up combat, while Haruka doesn't fight, she has her own gameplay loop which consists of various "Idol" related things. Beyond their own portion of the main story, each of the 5 characters has multiple substories and a main substory
  • Kiryu: Taxi missions (whether driving passengers or competing in races)
  • Saejima: Snow mountain training (hunting, fighting bears, and whatnot)
  • Shinada: Baseball (batting challenges, battles against various pitchers, etc)
  • Haruka: Idol-related missions (hand-shaking events, appearances on television shows, promotional concerts, etc)
  • Akiyama: Uhhh... I forget?
Needless to say, there's A LOT of stuff to do in this game. While some of the stuff is initially fun, depending on your mood some of it can get repetitive. So my recommendation is to do fun things but don't overdo the same thing all at the same time, as you'll get burned out. A surprising thing is I ended up liking Haruka's gameplay loop way more than I had any right to.

+ Awesome characters. For such a story-centric franchise, this game really shines with both the primary cast. Two absolute stand-outs I want to highlight:
  • In a franchise that has generally been very male centric, with chicks mostly playing romantic interests and/or damsels in distress -- this game gives you the most badass woman I have seen in this whole series to date. Behold -- Mirei Park: (she plays a very important part in Haruka's portion of the story, which I won't spoil):


  • Wrongly disgraced former baseball player and smut writer, and generally all around horn dog, newcomer Tatsuo Shinada, was probably my favorite character of the entire game:


I'm myself a big baseball fan, and there's heavy amounts of baseball gameplay/references/etc in Shinada's portion of the story, so everything was pretty awesome. The Japanese really, really love baseball. (IRL Team Japan has won the international World Series before).

+ Yakuza's own brand of fun "ridiculousness" is taken up a notch (or about 10) compared to Yakuza 4. I'll let the pictures do the talking:

Yes, Santa Saejima is absolutely a highlight:



Yes, he also punches bears:



"Large Woman".... LMAO.



"But if you keep talking like that, I'll make you eat those words" -- I half expected Haruka to have a revelation with the iconic "Receive You" song, and for her to start flailing punches left and right. (It's not like she hasn't seen Kiryu fight like a trillion times) There's a hidden dragon somewhere in there. Alas, Yakuza 5 was not the game that unleashed Haruka's inner dragon.



Cons:

- Story: While the characters are awesome, and there's a lot of humanity, great voice acting, and great writing, the main story in Yakuza 5 is probably the worst of the entire mainline series: It's long, it's convoluted, it's super-contrived, and at times nonsensical. It often overstays its welcome. There's a lot of twists and turns (as usual in the Yakuza series), but the ones here are sometimes predictable, sometimes boring, and often nonsensical. No wonder that with Yakuza 6 they reigned the story WAY in, because after Yakuza 4 and 5, the story was getting out of control.

- Side missions: It's a plus and a minus. While it offers variety because there are 5 different characters, for a given character, their isolated side mission can get repetitive and can cause quick burnout.

And now, I depart with a few pictures.

Haruka's main competitors in the "Princess League" (as the idol competition thing is called). Not only royal bitches, but what's up with the pseudo Nazi salute shit? :messenger_tears_of_joy::messenger_tears_of_joy:



Tiger + Dragon rematch:



For the love of the game -- as a huge baseball fan myself this story was touching and very well written:




Fates intersect:

 
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