Arc's 2024 Q2 Retrospective

BY Arcinia ON June 30, 2024

Welcome to my Q2 retrospective for 2024, where I cover all the games I've finished or at least made satisfactory-enough progress to write about. This is written in a chronological order, so no need to worry about ranks here. Feel free to share your comments, and enjoy!

Last year, a bundle was put out that had a bunch of collect-a-thon-ish platformers. I bought it since it had A Hat in Time, Kao the Kangaroo etc. This is one of the games that was on it. It's good, definitely a nice kid's game. I finished the main game with like 90%+ completion in 6 hours, but there's some post game. It's nothing too crazy (though I did like the spooky world). Just go around, complete missions and find collectibles. Unlocking costumes is neat. Look, I'm honestly trying, but there's really not much to write about haha. If you want a simple, light-hearted platforming adventure with a fox you can dress up, pick this up.

I like casino games. Cards, dice, roulette wheels, slots, keno, pokereno, you name it. A roguelike card game though? Color me intrigued. Basically, you make poker hands to score points, with the blinds and bosses getting progressively more challenging. You get jokers to boost your bonuses, tarot cards to change your card deck, planet cards to level up your played hands, and celestial cards to wildly alter your decks. There's a LOT to this game, and a lot of it is fun. It is challenging though, took me AWHILE to win a round as I was familiarizing myself with the mechanics and getting more unlocks/discoveries. It's good fun, and even if you're not the biggest roguelike fan, there's lots of fun in just messing around with poker hands and dominating the game with a high card. I try to run Two Pair/Full House runs myself.

I've been curious about this game for a little bit. It was $0.99, and I should've bought it, but I didn't and it took a couple years to go back to $0.99. Definitely grabbed it this time! It's pretty good. It's a small retro FPS with Metroidvania elements and a rather disturbing theme, but not bad. I was pretty much done with it in about 3 hours. Fun mechanics and progression, but a bit too easy getting lost. Worth the $1, maybe the $5 sale price, but not the $10.

At first glance I thought this would just be an anime-styled hack and slash RPG of sorts. It kind of is? When I actually read the store description for the game (which I did AFTER finding one of the "silly endings"), I realized there's actually quite a bit of topical meta-ness to it. ICEY's take on it was mixed, leaning towards good. A lot of it was enjoyable, silly or intriguing, but a bit of it overstayed its welcome, and there's absolutely no way to skip or fast-forward these bits. The combat is fun, a lot of different moves at your disposal. Unfortunately no real upgrades aside from purchasing damage/health increases from the shop, and certain enemies that show up frequently can stun-lock you. The game itself is really short if you follow the story, but deviating from it adds double, if not triple the length. It's fine, I just wish the game itself had more meat and polish.

I played this in 2020 with a couple friends and got pretty far into HR. Then we stopped because we kept fumbling around. I decided to pick this back up with someone else recently. Originally I played Dual Blade, this time I played Switch Axe. Such a great decision, I think it's become my new main! I also am reminded on how great Monster Hunter World is in general. I remember trying to play Tri years back and I could not get into it. World does a great job at making it more accessible without being too hand-holding. I think the only thing wrong with this game is Capcom. Can't skip cutscenes. Can't customize much unless you pay a lot of $. dumb stuff.

When I got and played through Supraland in 2020, I was obsessed with it. It was unique and so much fun. Still one of my favorites to this day. So I finally caved and got Six Inches Under, which is kind of like "Supraland 2" but different. It's different for sure. A lot more emphasis on puzzle solving and getting unlocks, less emphasis on combat. The underground environments are cool. The unlocks are rewarding. There's an actual MAP in the game this time. The sense of humor is as charming as always. The puzzles were pretty fun to solve, though some did take a bit too long to get through and others will really make you think outside the box. Overall I think I like SIU about the same as the original, and I strongly recommend it at any price!

So admittedly, watching the (surprisingly excellent) Fallout show re-kindled my interest in the series. I remember getting a few hours into F4 and then just stopping. Couldn't remember if I got bored or if the game got frustrating/buggy (it was the latter). Don't get me wrong, 3 and NV had their problems too but they occurred mostly later in the game and not to a frustrating degree. Either way, I worked through it and started actually playing the game again. It's good! Different enough with the way perks are handled, the armor system, customizing your weapons etc. The settlement system is neat, though I've mostly been scrounging the locations for junk to scrap for stuff. I plan on making a super base. Using power armor is very badass compared to 3/NV. It's also nice you can level up infinitely and technically get every perk in the game. The Boston setting is cool, but I think I liked the Capital Wasteland and the Vegas Strip more. Overall I like it and am having fun with it, but 3 and NV are a bit higher on the Fallout pedestal.

I started this one completely erroneously, thinking it was a backlogged game. It wasn't, and I already popped two achievements so I figured might as well give it a shot. Overall, it's good. I like the setting and the light-hearted story. The mechanics to change your stats and use different harvesting tools is cool and definitely Zelda-ish. The game felt a little repetitive at times, and having a really small item limit at the start was tedious to deal with, but I felt like I was making progress with building up the world every in-game day so that was sweet. Definitely good for a younger audience, too.

I remember first hearing about this game and thinking "oh man, this is insane!" It is insane, both good and bad. It's insane how much there is in this roguelike-ish FPS with mechanics and (optional, which is a plus) minigames. Lots of homages to popular games. The potential weapon variety you can get is wild. The gameplay is pretty fast, and there's enough sets of setpieces to keep it varied. The in-between level theme and aesthetics are interesting, too. That said, it's also insane how much the game overstays its welcome at times and how limiting your carryover is. There are SO many levels in this game that you can get fatigued quickly. Some achievements account for getting NG+ a couple times too. If they wanted NG+ encouragement they should've trimmed the level count down a little. It also sucks you can only carry 1 weapon over until super late in the game. So if you find a cool weapon you want to try only to find out it sucks later, too bad so sad. And the game's difficulty gets wild later on. Overall though, it's a decent time. Just would've fared better with some fat trimming.

So I actually played this already last year when I got my Deck, but have been on an achievement-hunting frenzy so I decided to pick this back up, check out the other gamemode I haven't played yet. Man. Zool is wild. It really is an early 90s platformer with its wacky level themes, its exploration and collectibles et al. I say this positively; I consider Zool Redimensioned a shining example of how a remaster on a classic game could, and should, be done. Enhancing the original by making it more accessible but also having an old-school esque mode, repolish all around (the game looks very clean!), extras. It's pretty short, you can finish the game in 90 minutes if that, but it's replayable. Great game, even better remaster.

Upon entering the realm of Boomer Shooters a few years back, I came across the Turok games and had piqued curiosity since these came from the same console as Doom 64. One trade and ~2 years later, here we are. Nightdive does it again, it's a great port that runs pretty well and it respects the N64 game. Using the bow is fun, the variety of guns you get are pretty cool (although a lot of them feel pretty useless). There's a great sense of exploration and finding upgrades. Strangely less dinosaurs than I was expecting. Overall a fun retro FPS title that doesn't overstay its welcome.

I can be a bit picky with puzzle games sometimes, but this one intrigued me because it features tidying, organization of objects, and felines. This was recommended as one of the "Cozy" games for Completionator challenges. It certainly is, and I find a lot of enjoyment in organizing objects. Some puzzles are really abstract or require out-of-the-box thinking (in a good way), but the game offers a nice hint system and even lets you skip puzzles if you want to continue the campaign. It's a nice touch. There's also alternative ways to solve puzzles which are fun to find. Great little puzzle game!

I discovered this game 2 years ago and was intrigued by it, but only bought it when it was bundled recently. With how much fun I've been having with it, I would've been okay paying its asking price. Watching videos on King's Field (which this game is inspired from), Lunacid does a great job at bringing that gameplay style to the modern day. Cryptic, full of secrets, unique stat mechanics like increased running speed and jump height, and just a charming atmosphere, not to mention the great music score and options to customize your visual experience. It's cool, and discovering secrets and sidequests feels organic enough. Solid recommendation - the second half of the quarter really picked up steam for me!

Been curious about this one for awhile, so I got it in a trade and played it recently. It's fine, I guess. It's a survival RPG that has Diablo-lite combat where you have to traverse the world and fight bosses while building bases and keeping your gear up to snuff. I don't know why a game like this needs to have a cosmetic/microtransaction shop like it's Diablo, but at least you gain a small amount of cosmetic currency every day you play. The survival elements are light. You can make a base but with my limited time in the game I didn't feel like it was really necessary. The combat is kinda frustrating. It's another one of those corpse-run games where you have to run back to get most of your crafting items and you permanently lose a bunch of your souls. It's stupid. Overall I found it had potential but was lacking and kinda frustrating to play, so I dropped it after a couple hours.

Definitely a shorter list than Q1, hoping to pick back up with Q3! Thank you all for reading!

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