Gaming Goals for 2017

For the rest of the gaming world.
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Alright everyone, it's time to make those 2017 gaming goals! I've been quite happy with the progress made over the last 2 years for myself, and I've been thinking for a little while about what I want to add for this year. I've completed a lot of the games with single player campaigns that were on my back log, and that feels great because I can finally play some new games without feeling guilty that I haven't even finished the ones I own! Feels awesome getting the full potential out of every game I have.

Like I've said the last couple of years, we're all busy. Life is busy. This is a time for us to say "you know what, time to get some me time in". If you're doing something else to do that, awesome. I love it. But for those of you who have some games on the back log, let's do this!

I may change some of these over the next few days as I think of more.

Games I'd like to finish by the end of 2017:

PC
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion [Completed November 2017]
Myst III: Exile [Completed October 2017]
Obduction [Completed November 2017]
StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops [Completed June 2017]
Banished - Build a village and try to maintain/sustain it for as long as possible [Completed May 2017]
Roller Coaster Tycoon 1 - Advance through the Campaign Scenarios and see how many I can complete [Completed December 2017]

3DS
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam [Completed May 2017]

Wii U
Super Mario Maker - Unlock all building items and as many costumes as I can, and make some solid levels [Completed March 2017]

Xbox 360
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga [Completed December 2017]

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I just barely finished everything in time for my 2016 list. I've gone through a ton of my backlog since 2014. I think this year is the closest I've had to a fully beaten game collection (Steam games not included, maybe in a few years). I also adopted a new strategy for buying games: I limited myself to spending money on two games for all of 2016. It was tough because there ended up being quite a few games I wanted to get, but I persevered! My original plan was to get Zelda BotW and Overwatch, but then we all know what happened to Zelda. It made me realize I will probably always have games to play and don't need to buy new releases unless I really really want to play it day one. Anything else goes on the wishlist for birthdays/Christmas/etc.

For 2017 I'm going to limit myself to a certain amount of money instead of a certain number of games. This lets me participate in digital sales and gives me a little bit more flexibility. I've got the majority of my purchases planned out already!

Games I want to finish by the end of 2017:

PC
DOOM added 12/25/2016, beaten 01/02/17
Hyperlight Drifter added 12/25/2016, beaten 01/29/17
• Stardew Valley added 10/28/2016
• Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War added 12/26/2016
Spec-Ops: The Line added 01/01/2017, beaten 03/12/17
VA-11 HALL-A added 01/1/2017, beaten 01/16/17

PS3
• Persona 4 Arena Ultimax added 09/16/2016
Vanquish added 12/25/2016, beaten 02/26/17

PS4
• Rise of the Tomb Raider added 12/25/2016
Persona 5 added 4/4/2017, beaten 12/20/17

Newcomers

PC
Diablo 3 - Necromancer story run started 07/03/2016, finished 07/13/17
Myst III: Exile beaten 10/14/17
Destiny 2 (story quests) bought 10/24/2016, beaten 10/28/17
Obduction beaten 11/25/17

PS4
Destiny (story quests) added 05/10/2016, beaten 06/10/17
• NieR: Automata added 09/01/2017

Switch
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe added 06/18/2016, beaten 6/18/17
Cave Story+ (True Ending) added 06/22/2016, beaten 7/03/17
• Splatoon 2 (Single Player) added 07/21/2017
• Super Mario Odyssey added 10/27/2017
• Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild added 12/17/2017

3DS
Metroid: Samus Returns (100%) added 09/15/2016, completed 10/13/17

iOS
Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy added 07/21/2016, beaten 09/15/17

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Right now, I'd like to beat Pokemon Moon.

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First game of 2017 down! Doom was an absolute blast. Definitely now one of my favorite FPS games.

The game is super fast-paced compared to most FPS games released today which is refreshing. Bunny-hopping is a thing and that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. They really nailed the feeling of speed and finesse - you regularly feel like a badass demon-slaying machine. Being able to seamlessly go from shootin' up a bad guy into a Glory Kill and back into the fray feels really satisfying.

The sound design is top notch here. The soundtrack feels loud and punchy, the perfect industrial underscore to the demon massacre frequently taking place. The sounds of the weapons are equally great - everything from the sounds of the guns firing to switching between gun mods sounds really good. I found myself swapping between mods during the quiet moments just to hear the sounds. So good.

The collectibles and secret areas turned out to be a really fun side-objective for me. I found myself going for optional content more than I usually would, so much so that when I realized I missed one collectible... I restarted the mission right near the end. Kind of annoying that certain parts of the map do eventually get "locked out" so you can't go back and grab anything you missed, but only a real drag to secret hunters.

The optional Rune Trials are pretty neat. You're given a simple objective like "kill 15 dudes" or "get from A to B", but they put a challenging twist on it. Something like you've got only 1 HP and there is no way to get more health, or you can only move when you kill something. They offer a nice break from the action while testing your skills. A few times I learned a new strategy too, so you might even learn something.

There isn't a ton of story here and I think that works out to the game's favor. The name of the game here is demon-slaying and having a blast doing it. They actually managed to get a ton of personality out of the protagonist - despite the fact that all you see of him are his two hands and the occasional boot. You've probably heard of one moment where a character tries to lore-dump you and the Doom Marine just shoves the monitor out of the way and ignores it. There's also a ton of lore to hunt for in the secret spots and other collectibles. It builds up Mars and why they're here - but the best part is that none of it really matters, you can skip all the fluff and still have a total blast.

I'd highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys FPS games. I was tempted to drop a few hundred bucks on a new video card just for this game. I know for sure that when I eventually do get a new video card I'll be going back and trying this one again. 100% run!

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Please let me know how Hyper Light is when you get to that, and also Starwdew Valley as I've been very interested in both. Doom sounds pretty wicked, never played a Doom game but I know a lot of the OG one *dodges shoe being thrown at me*

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Finished Hyper Light Drifter!

I think the best part of the game is its atmosphere and combat. The game contains no text (besides tutorial button prompts) and no spoken dialog. Therefore, the story is largely up to the player to interpret, if they desire. Right from the get-go, you're immediately immersed into the world. The sound design - particularly the soundtrack - draws you in. In moments of quiet - typically exploration - the music is subdued and atmospheric, underscoring your journey in this torn world. As you launch into combat, things pick up a bit... then, when it's boss battle time, additional instrumentation enters - a pumping track gets you energized against a tough foe. The whole soundtrack has a very unsettling feeling, which matches the overall atmosphere of the game. It's a strange world and there's mysterious things afoot. Some kind of corruption is tainting everything...

The gameplay really shines here. The game is a top-down action game - think Link to the Past. Your basic arsenal is an energy sword and guns - lots of guns. You only start with one, but as the game goes on you'll find more (or maybe you won't, they're all optional). My favorite would have to be the railgun - it requires precision accuracy but feels very satisfying to land hits with. Your bread-and-butter sword combination is a triple-tap in quick succession. There are plenty of upgrades to change things up - one of my favorites is the ability to reflect projectiles with your sword. Definitely reminds me of Link to the Past where you'd reflect Agahnim's projects back at him. Finally you've got a dodge/teleport - a quick shift in any direction. It will let you dodge melee attacks or avoid projectiles, but you're not invincible - so you can be hit mid-dash. All together it provides a simple yet great combat system. Easy to learn, but hard to master. You regularly feel like a master swordsman jumping between enemies and slicing them to bits. The game is also quite challenging - I was reminded of the Donkey Kong Country games with regard to the difficulty - wherein those games are all also challenging but the reason behind every failure (death) was very clear. It leads to an eventual choreographed sequence that looks really cool after you pull it all off. The boss fights were especially great - all of them very different - I think they were almost a game in of itself. I regularly looked forward to the next duel with a strong foe. If you don't mind some spoilers, here is one of the early boss fights - I enjoyed this one a lot (note: I edited out the 10 minutes or so of me not beating the boss...).

The only negative thing I've got to say with the game's mechanics was that if you died after collecting a bunch of items - you'd have to go back and re-collect everything again. I'm talking like upgrade points or keys, that kind of thing. Minor grievance. Actually one other slightly annoying thing was that the map didn't really have any GPS features - so it never showed you precisely where you were in a given room, which made exploration a little tedious sometimes. I think actually what would fix it is if explored rooms where marked as such - that way I don't end up retreading a lot of ground.

A recommend to anyone who enjoys a game loaded with atmosphere, or top-down style action games. If you liked Link to the Past, you're sure to find a great game here. The soundtrack alone makes it worthwhile in my opinion!

pc:
•get to plat in League of Legends.
bad rats and bad rats the show.
•level 30 in Smite.
2ds:
Pokemon alpha sapphire and sun.

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colesepic wrote:pc:
Pokemon alpha sapphire and sun.
Nice choice, I was contemplating getting Sun or Moon but ended up not getting it for now. I've got other games I want to finish in the mean time.

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Vanquish down!

Vanquish is definitely a product of its time. If you don't remember the mid to late naughties in video games, they were rife with cover shooters. Think Gears of War or Uncharted. You're given big open areas with some very inconspicious cover spots. Vanquish followed the same trend, but to its benefit it at least tried to subvert the genre by changing things up. You can try to play this game like a traditional shooter, but you'll get destroyed quickly. Instead, Vanquish gives you Sam Gideon - an agent from DARPA who has been given the Augmented Reaction Suit. The suit allows you to literally slide around while firing at enemies - and also allows you to enter "AR Mode" (think bullet-time) while sliding. Yes, the power slide is a legitimate and viable combat manuever! It leads to a pretty fluid combat system where you regularly feel pretty awesome effortlessly sliding between enemies and scoring some easy headshots thanks to the slowdown mode. The problem though is that while it's a cool mechanic, it doesn't break away from the feeling that this is still a cover shooter. Maybe back in '07 this would be okay, but playing it in 2017 it feels very samey and not super exciting.

Again, following the popular trends at the time the game features some heavy cutscene use. It doesn't help that the story isn't entirely interesting, although it's pretty dumb on purpose. Still, it leads you to mashing the skip button because you just want to go back and play the damn game. Auto-regenerating health is another feature of the game - again a very popular choice at the time - but frustratingly there is no representation of your health on the HUD. So you'll be taking some bullet fire, and then suddenly launched into AR Mode (which happens automatically when you reach low health). Wait, was my health actually that low? Then if you're not careful - boom dead. With no actual indication of how much damage you're taking you have no idea how much of a threat some enemies pose. Some are capable of one-shotting you, and then some are firing pebbles at you. It gets very annoying and frustrating at times. Boss battles were pretty fun most of the time, although I can remember one or two that were crushingly hard. Lots of instant-death moves. The sudden jump in difficulty was pretty jarring and frustrating. Still, you can push through eventually, but it can feel frustrating to get near the end of a boss fight and get instant-killed and then forced to restart from the beginning.

Overall, it's not horrible - a pretty decent game. I think if I played it when it first came out it'd be a total blast, but after years of Platinum refining their craft and the cover shooter finally dying off - it feels like a relic from the past. It's got some very cool moments, but plenty of very dull ones too. Worth checking out if you're a die-hard Platinum fan like myself, otherwise you can probably pass. Maybe check out some gameplay on YouTube, it might entice you.

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Games I'd like to finish this year (I know, I'm late)

PC
Undertale

PS4
Firewatch
The Last Guardian (haven't started yet)
Song of the Deep
Tomb Raider reboot (haven't started yet)
Uncharted 2 & 3 Remastered (haven't started yet)

PS2
Ratchet Deadlocked

Wii U
Super Mario Maker (what Link said)
Bomberman 94 (Turbografx 16)

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Man, Ratchet Deadlocked... I wonder how that is? I seem to recall it being a pretty big departure from the series. Curious to hear your thoughts when you get to it!

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yup I'm already about half way through but put it on the bench for Uncharted. I will come back to it though, I used to play multiplayer at Thomas' about ten or more years ago, I will elaborate when I beat the game, but suffice to say it's one of the stronger Ratchet spin-off efforts (Deadlocked/All 4 One/Secret Agent Clank/Full Frontal Assault/might be forgetting one, probably not).

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AC Dasher wrote:
February 26th, 2017, 10:08 pm
Firewatch
If this is the one I'm thinking of, I saw a brief bit of a play through and remember thinking the art style looked pretty cool and that it was an interesting concept. Curious to hear your thoughts on this one as part of me was actually thinking of picking it up for PC on the next Steam sale.

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Alright so, I'm marking my goal for Super Mario Maker as complete. I've unlocked all the building items which was easy, and made some solid levels which is actually really fun and once you get into building a level it's difficult to stop when an idea comes to mind.

As for the costumes, I think that's something I'll probably just unlock over time from playing. Apart from the special Event courses which I've completed all of and earned the event costume for each, and apart from the nat nat expert mode costume which is flat out insane and near impossible to get, the rest of the costumes are obtainable by playing random levels made by others and submitted online. You play those via the 100 Mario Challenge mode where you get 100 lives to go through 8 courses for easy mode, 16 courses for normal mode, and 16 courses for expert. You get one costume for going through a set, costume chosen at random from costumes that can be unlocked at that difficulty tier.

I started playing on easy, and after awhile, a message appears stating you can't earn anymore costumes at that difficulty. So I started playing at normal. Got the same message. Playing on expert is *incredibly* difficult I've found. I think it may have been easier at the beginning, but now that so many courses have been uploaded, I think the way the game decides which courses are "expert" is by using the percentage of people who've made it through the course or not skipped the course. The lower that percent, the more likely a course is to be labeled expert (that's just my guess, because a lot of these levels are insane). To give you an idea, I'd typically end a normal 16 level play through with anywhere between 90 and 100 lives (you can earn up to 3 1UP's per level). But with the expert courses, I have yet to complete a run. I'm currently sitting at 30 lives left, and I've completed 4/16 courses.

Yeah.

So I'm glad I made the goal "get as many as I can", because there's around 160 costumes, and I've so far grinded down over 100 of them which I'm pretty stoked on.

I think for the expert ones, I think it would be far more fun to make nachos or something and have friends over to take turns tackling courses and seeing if we can make it through them together (Devo and AC, I'm looking at you).

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I'm down any weekend for that bro :)


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