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LONG BLOG

Media Moments 2021: The B-List Video Games

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My A-list is what it is, but I wanted an opportunity to shout-out some games in the next tier. You probably played those A-list games. These games? I ask you to play them if you haven’t. I want the developers of Observation to afford to reenact their game in Jupiter’s orbit.

Loop Hero Is The Reason I Had to Do This Blog, Because It Rules

Do you like rogue-light games and want something new? I sure did. Well, this is a new twist on rogue-lights, based on idle games. An adventurer auto-walks around a looping road fighting monsters, with each loop around slightly tougher than the last. But the world is empty, having previously been wiped out. So you collect cards which let you place lands, like mountains, swamps, forests, etc. These lands give you buffs, while also generating different kinds of monsters to fight and subtly change the conditions of your run. There’s also interactions b/w cards to create and/or alter the buffs or conditions. There’s a whole raft of combos, effects, and strategies to use. For something so easy to pick up, there’s a lot of hidden depth in there. It’s also got a rockin’ soundtrack. I heard this was coming to Switch, and I cannot wait for it to take off there.

 

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox Is My Favorite RPG In 2021

This year I played Scarlet Nexus and Shin Megami Tensei 5, so it feels like I played the crème de la crème in JRPGs. But neither of those was as fun or as good, in my opinion, as Ys IX: Monstrum Nox. Ys IX moves the series to an open city, and gives you fun traversal powers and stuff to collect.

The story is, our hero Adol rolls into a new town and is immediately arrested for...being a famous adventurer who’s a person of interest in a bunch of disasters. (That...actually tracks.) While escaping prison, he’s chosen to be one of the Monstrums, a vigilante street gang that turns into half-monsters and fights evil in the shadows.

The gameplay is real-time action-RPG with fast combat. So, think Scarlet Nexus but faster and looser. The map is pretty restricted at first, but you break through various barriers as you go. Opening up the map is something you work on throughout the game. It has a satisfying progression to it. The story has you get to know all these other Monstrums, who at first don’t even know each other’s real identities. But you help them become a community, so they can help each other in their normal lives. And there are some interesting twists along the way. Because this series gets such a small spotlight, I had to take it upon myself to shout this out. It’s great, and so was XIII!

 

Stories Untold and Observation Are Not From 2021, But Who Cares? It’s My Blog!

This year, I finally got around to playing Stories Untold, which was in my library for ages. Stories Untold was incredible. Just a top-tier horror game. It’s a walking sim-style game, but you’re primarily sitting in front of different machines and working those machines to advance the story. It’s kind of minimalist in that way. And yet it was fucking terrifying. So I went to the internet afterwards to check out the developer, No Code. Their only other game was the follow-up Observation. And it was on GamePass at the time!

Observation was incredibly impressive. It’s hard to get used to at first, and there are some sections that can be confusing, but going from Stories Untold to this blew my mind. It really is a big-budget glow-up for that team. In Observation, you play the AI controlling a space station. You move through the computer system, see through cameras, manipulate doors and drones, and regulate station systems. It’s an uncanny way to exist, but it gives you a different kind of flexibility. After a mysterious blackout that blanks your memory, your station has been teleported to orbit around Jupiter for reasons unknown, and you have guide a scientist around to figure out what’s going on and what to do about it. If you like space movies or cosmic horror, I strongly recommend this. It’s incredible.

And that’s the B-list. Next up is Game Music.

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About siddartha85one of us since 1:07 PM on 07.18.2011