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Plombo's 2014 game log: part 2


The time has come for me to write about five more games I enjoyed playing in 2014. This is the second of four parts; parts 3 and 4 are where I will write about my top picks for the year. Here's part 1 if you missed it.


The Guided Fate Paradox

Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: NIS America
Released: 2013 (PS3)
Played on: PS3
Started: August 2014
Play time: 17:08
Progress: start of chapter 5

The Guided Fate Paradox received a rather mixed reception from critics and players alike, but I quite like it. Unlike many so-called "roguelikes", Paradox is a roguelike in the truest sense - its gameplay is actually like Rogue. More specifically, it's like Rogue with a shot of Disgaea. Notably, it has a greatly expanded version of Disgaea's throwing mechanic: an enemy can be thrown at another enemy, or at a cannon to launch it to another part of the level, or just generally away from the player to buy a few turns. While "Rogue with RPG elements and throwing" might not sound like the greatest pitch for a game, The Guided Fate Paradox really does make it work.


Shin Megami Tensei: Persona

Developer: Atlus
Publisher: Atlus
Released: 2009 (PSP)
Played on: PSTV
Started: October 2014
Play time: 24:55 on save file
Progress: final dungeon of true ending (SEBEC quest)

Some people might say that the original Persona has aged poorly. I'm sure that the original PlayStation version with the questionable localization probably has, but I found this enhanced PSP port to be quite enjoyable. I was a bit nervous going in, having only limited experience with both first-person dungeon crawlers and old-school Megami Tensei, but I didn't have any real problems with either. It seems the difficulty curve is rather uneven, though - my party died exactly zero times in the first 18 hours of my playthrough, yet now I'm somehow underleveled for the final dungeon. Still, there's no denying that Persona kept my attention for 25 hours, and games that aren't good don't do that.


Velocity 2X

Developer: FuturLab
Publisher: FuturLab
Released: 2014 (PS4, Vita)
Played on: PSTV
Started: October 2014
Play time: 2:35 according to in-game "flight computer"
Progress: finished 24 missions, currently at 3980 XP

Like SRPGs, score attack games aren't usually my thing. Velocity 2X, however, distinguishes itself in two major ways. First, it has a wide variety of very well-designed levels that keep the experience from being repetitive. Second, it was free on PlayStation Plus in September, so I didn't have to pay for it. Its 2D platforming sections help to further prevent monotony, and contribute some depth to the gameplay. Even without considering the platforming, V2X has more mechanical depth than most score attack games or scrolling shooters, and an accessible learning curve that introduces new mechanics at a manageable pace. The only reason for the low play time is that unlike the other games here, it doesn't count time in menus in the recorded play time. Even then, I'm a bit surprised that it isn't higher - it's a fun, well-designed game that left a stronger impression on me than some games that I've put more time into.


Ys Seven

Developer: Nihon Falcom
Publisher: XSEED Games
Released: 2010 (PSP)
Played on: PSTV
Started: November 2014
Play time: 9:01 on save file
Progress: finished the fire shrine

While I'm disappointed that the non-Japanese versions of Ys: Memories of Celceta aren't compatible with the PlayStation TV, Ys Seven is a nice consolation prize. As fast-paced action RPGs go, it's about as close to perfection as humanly possible. Its gameplay might seem repetitive on paper, but in reality, the combat is addictive and never seems to get old. Definitely playing more of this soon.


Xenoblade Chronicles

Developer: Monolith Soft
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: 2012 (Wii)
Played on: Wii (before 2014), Wii U (2014)
Started: May 2012 (first time), November 2014 (current save file)
Play time: 7:50 on this year's save file
Progress: Chapter 5, Ether Mine

There are a lot of AAA open-world games out there. All of them try to feel expansive, like there's no end to the things that the player to do. Most fail miserably. Xenoblade Chronicles succeeds. It's a Wii game that feels more ambitious and expansive than many of its contemporaries on the Wii's more powerful competitors. It's nothing short of incredible. It's also the only game so far on this list that I'm still regularly playing in 2015.

Fun fact: I was one of the 10 or so staff members running Operation Rainfall's day-to-day operations back when we were campaigning for Nintendo of America to release this game, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower. I pre-ordered and bought it day one. And even still, I somehow never managed to properly get into it until a couple of months ago when I got a Wii U. I have the strangest gaming habits sometimes.


That's it for today's crop. Tomorrow will bring part 3, where I start on the games that I really got into last year.

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About Plomboone of us since 10:40 AM on 10.21.2013

I'm a person who plays video games and reads Destructoid. I play games on Linux when possible, and on console or Windows otherwise.

I'm also one of the developers of OpenBOR, an open source 2D game engine which is more popular and more useful than any other open source game engine that you've never heard of.