surprisingly entertaining games you played this year

NuclearKangaroo

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so i was reading the "Son, I am disappoint" thread when i thought, "fuck this depressing shit"

what games did you play this year that were much more engaging than you thought they would be?, the game doesnt have to be a recent release


so for me, 4 games come to mind

- Doom: i bought the classic doom collection during the quakecon sale mostly for... should i say academic reasons? i hadnt played the game before despite the fact im an FPS fan, so after struggling to get this dinosaur working properly i found out the game has aged reasonably well, certainly not to the same degree a something like say, X-COM, but its still very fun to play, and it really shows its one of the first FPS ever made, the game feels much more like an action title than an FPS as we have come to expect

- Red Orchestra 2: i got this one for free thanks to a promotion the devs had, now i had played this game before during a free weekend, i hated it, it has some of the things i hate the most in an FPS, instadeath without a single warning from kilometers away, i was convinced i hated this kind of "realistic" shooters, but i still got it, and gave it a second chance, fortunately, this time the first map i landed on was a more close quarters affair, and i fell in love almost immediately, the feeling of the guns, the tension of dying in one hit, all great, in close quaters maps you have a better chance to avoid enemy fire and you dont have to crawl 2 kilometers just to be shot by a tiny brown speck you can barely see, the game definitively works best in those close quarters maps

- Hearthstone: i installed the game out of curiosity and nostalgia for my old MTG years, and the game turned out very very fun, with easy to grasp yet difficult to master mechanics, i played for a long time before quitting due to the one thing that ruins many games for me, the Metagame, also known as "play this way or you gonna lose constantly", still i had a good time and i got a shiny legendary, i feel accomplished

- Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed: my current addiction, god how i missed kart racing games, one of the few genres that has been almost completely absent from PC, i had played this game before during a free weekend and i really liked, this last steam summer sale i bought and i simply love it, the speed, the colorful graphics, the great soundtrack, they even added a few free DLC characters and you can play as TF2 characters, how cool is that? i have enjoyed this game much much MUCH more than i thought i would, pure unadultered fun

captcha: oh yes

indeed
 

DataSnake

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Aug 5, 2009
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Blood Dragon. I bought it on sale basically because I liked Far Cry 3, but I wasn't expecting it to be my second-favorite game of 2013.
 

Zhukov

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Dec 29, 2009
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Transistor was fun.

Fun combat, cool setting, interesting story and it looks pretty. The character build system is really cool too. Easy to use, but allows for all kinds of inventive combinations, plus the game encourages you to experiment.

However, the story is a rather extreme case of 'in medias res' and is very light on details. Things fall into place by the end, but it only juuuuust hangs together.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Well, as far as "surprisingly entertaining" goes, I was surprisingly entertained by the God of War Saga, you know the collection that includes all games (or used to until Ascension came out anyway). It was just too much damn fun. Pretty cheap too. I got a lot of mileage out of that.

Max Payne 3 was also a nice surprise. It was a while since I played a 3rd person shooter and I liked feeling both the ramped challenge and the badassery of the missions.
 

krazykidd

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Final fantasy: AAR on the ps4.

I heard nice things about it and by golly they are right. The first MMO since WoW , that i really enjoy.

Honorable mention goes to , destiny beta .
 

MysticSlayer

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Apr 14, 2013
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I went back and played some games I either didn't like or was incredibly meh on my first time through. Portal and BioShock Infinite, though, were the only two that saw a significant improvement in my view of them. Funnily enough, it had been so long since I played Portal that I completely forgot every puzzle, so it was like playing it for the first time again.

After that, though, I can't think of any new games I played this year that were far more engaging than I expected them to be. That's not to say that I haven't played any great games this year, but I expected them all to be great in the first place.
 

ChristopherT

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Sep 9, 2010
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Final Fantasy XIII-2: I tried the demo, really didn't like it. The little love I had for the Final Fantasy XIII characters has dried up. Only heard fairly bad things about the game. But for some reason earlier this year I said screw it and picked it up, and I really enjoyed it. It's not perfect. But I had a lot of fun with it that I thought would not happen.

Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack: During when of GOG's sales things I came to own Mutant Blobs Attack through the option to buy a "random" game. How the game looked, just did not seem all that interesting, like so many indie games that exist. But, within the first few levels I just started having a lot of fun. Being a blob and just rolling around a platformer and consuming everything via osmosis was fun, doubly so with cows.

Tomb Raider The New One. The first hour or two of the new one anyways. I went into this game feeling I would hate it. I liked the sillyness of the Kraken in Underworld, I liked Lara's mimi speech of finding a hammer to kill a god, I liked the wild life trying to kill Lara. And this new game, from everything I saw, did not have that, this simply was not a Tomb Raider game for me. But, with Playstation Plus got it for no extra charge. Played it, and that first hour or two was really rather fun, really enjoyable. It wasn't like old Tomb Raider, but what ev, it was nice just climbing around, getting the bow for the first time, taking some easy pot shots at deer, and just letting the story unfold from scenery to scenery. Then the rest of the game happened and I didn't enjoy that. But that first hour or two, pretty fun, wasn't expecting it.
 

Shoggoth2588

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Aug 31, 2009
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This past weekend I picked up a bunch of N64 and Dreamcast games from my local indie shop. After spending 5,000+ Yen on Capsule Toys in Shenmue, I moved on to Destruction Derby 64. I owned the original DD on the PSX and I had fun with it. I was expecting something fun and, neat for the N64 version. I don't know if it's because I have the expansion pak in my N64 but DD64 is FREAKING AWESOME. It's Fast, Frenetic, Chaotic...I really wish I had THAT as a kid instead of Crusin' Rush ETC.

Then I put in Revolution X on the PSX...It's stupid and, easy but that CD-Quality audio and Aerosmith was pretty rocking and the fact that I killed a million troopers trying to save Aerosmith...it was dumb and easy and not as good as the arcade game but it was still endearing in it's own, special way.
 

shrekfan246

Not actually a Japanese pop star
May 26, 2011
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Hm.

Injustice: Gods Among Us.

The character models look like they should be in a game from 2007, the story is silly and dumb in a classically comic book-y way, and I'm absolutely dreadful at fighting games as a matter of course, but I'm still finding it a lot of fun to play through the single-player. And I can appreciate that they got a lot of the voice actors who have previously voiced characters featured in the game to reprise their roles.

Super Mario 3D World.

I'm not particularly enamored with Mario as a franchise outside of perhaps Mario Kart, and it's not really a stretch to say that 3D World is probably the first main-series Mario game I've even properly played, but yeah, it's a lot of fun. Sometimes it's nice to have something I don't have to focus too heavily on lest I miss important dialogue or setpieces, something I can play while I've got something else going on in the background. 3D World fits into that niche quite nicely.
 

Harpalyce

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Mar 1, 2012
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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates of Infinity tops my list there. I'd heard it more or less universally panned by my friends. Sure, it's no Explorers of Sky, but that bar's set pretty dang high. Sure, it's no video game equivalent of the Mona Lisa, but it's pretty entertaining. Pretty decent characters, and hey, it's a PMD game, you get to play as pokemon and thrash other pokemon in a little pokeworld what more do you really want.

What has surprised pretty much nobody else but me, though, is Minecraft. I just picked it up a few days ago, thinking "oh I'll try the demo", and then that turned into "I AM GOING TO PLAY THIS FOREVER". I had, up until now, dismissed it as the video game equivalent of lego blocks without any real challenge or structure that makes it more game-like. Then I fell face-first into Minecraft's ample, blocky bosom. To the point where it's a real struggle to actually finish this post instead of open up Minecraft...
 

Mirroga

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Jun 6, 2009
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Transistor
People may have not liked this game as much as Bastion, but I like these 2 games equally. Transistor's gameplay reminds me closely of Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria. Also the amount of enemy types & function customization is awesome. I thought the design of the Functions in the game is ingenious. Each function can either become one of your unique attacks, an attack buffer, or even a passive. The new game plus offers even more by duplicating each function once you go through the motions and use the same function to buff itself!

The Stanley Parable
It might be considered as an experience rather than an actual game. But this game has given me an unforgettable experience regarding linear stories in games and the question of freedom in it or lack thereof. The experience ranges from thought-provoking, laughter, and even discomfort/creepy. Nothing has made me more aware or afraid about having a narrator narrating your actions before you have done them.
 

Chasing-The-Light

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Jul 16, 2011
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DMC

This game gets so much hell for breaking away from the other games in the DMC series, and I completely get that, but the more I play it the more I find myself really enjoying the combat system and the different story. Sure, I hate the fact that Dante and Vergil are just.... not them. But at the same time, I just can't bring myself to completely loathe this game like I thought I would when I bought it in the first place.
 

FPLOON

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-Virtua Quest: I've played this game so many times, I both like it and dislike it to the point of probably wanting to replay it again just because... ;p (Plus, I love the game's theme sing!)

-Tales of Xillia: Outside of a concept that sounded awesome on paper, but executed "kinda" poorly depending on which of the two main characters you choose to play first story-wise, I could not put this game down without thinking I was SO CLOSE from leveling up again... (Can't wait for ToX2 to come out in the US!)

-Child of Eden: Replaying this game reminded me just how awe-inspiring this game could get... (Kinda wish I had my own copy of Rez right now!)

Honorable mention to Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX because I already knew I was going to enjoy this collection regardless... (Well, outside of the 358/2 Days cinematic cutscene movie to a certain extent, but I digress...)
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Wolfenstein: The New Order

That game was ludicrously engaging considering its concept. I had heard good things about before I got it so I was expecting atleast somekind of quality, but not this much. It reminded me just how good a first-person shooter could be.
 

stroopwafel

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Apr 29, 2020
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Probably the Fatal Frame games. The first I played was Crimson Butterfly and absolutely loved it. The other games were good too. Another title would probably be Outlast. The first game I played on PS4. :p This game manages to build tension like no other and really had this kind of 'believable' desolate atmosphere. The gameplay was a huge meh as all you could do was run away but when I enjoy a game this much on atmosphere alone it can only mean it was exceptionally well done.

So yeah, lots of horror games I discovered and really enjoyed. :p
 

Eliam_Dar

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Nov 25, 2009
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I have to say Tera... I started playing the game this year, not expecting much, mainly because some friends convinced me to try. I was expecting another MMORPG with limited combat, you know, basically, click and use skills... boy I was wrong, it is the first MMORPG I played where you have to actually dodge or block in...semi real time. I am enjoying it, and at the momment have 4 characters in it, even after my friends left.
 

EHKOS

Madness to my Methods
Feb 28, 2010
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Dark Souls II. I played the first one following SSOH up until the Tomb of Giants to which I said, verbatim, "Fuck that."
But once again I saw Seamoose playing it, and not only did it look really good aesthetically, it looked like it felt good. And maybe this is another reason why it stuck out so much, but I went to buy it on Amazon and there were about four Collectors Editions for the same price as the game new (which it was at the time). So I bought it, the box was a bit banged up but everything else was pristine.

And I've sunk 90 hours into it. I beat NG+ and had a blast doing it. The only thing I haven't done that I want to do is beat the bloody ancient dragon once, I'm using the Gyrm Greatshield method since I used the thing since I found it.
Also I would like to start a Sorcery class to see how the other side lives, but I wouldn't get the trophies for it because fuck getting the best ranks in which you have to A) Vanquish 100 online foes and or B) Make sure however many people don't die while you help them kill a boss.

I will eventually run a sorcery build, but I will be a bit disappointed. And also confused since I always go melee.
 

happyninja42

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May 7, 2020
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Guacamelee - Very fun game. Light hearted, colorful, funny as hell.

Sniper Elite 3 - Gosh I love playing a sniper. And this game did a good job of replicating that feel for me in an effective manner.

Oh yeah! Forgot about Blood Dragon! Damn that game was fun as hell! So goofy and funny and a blast from the past.
 

yamy

Slayer of Hot Dogs
Aug 2, 2010
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Mount and Blade: Warband - When it first came out it got quite middling reviews. Most people said it was a good game but with some flaws, and a lot of repetitive grinding. Picked it up in a Steam Sale and a few weeks later and I've already sunk 50 hours into it. 50 hours in vanilla and I haven't even tried any of the mods yet (of which there are many).

Cook, Serve, Delicious - Picked this one up in a Humble Bundle. A restaurant simulation game that on the tin looks like a million other flash games but actually has surprising amount of options and can be extremely tense. Only complaint is that the game is agonizingly slow at the beginning and really slow to advance.

Katawa Shoujo - This game is so famous on the Escapist that I don't think it needs elaborating. Turned me from Visual-Novel skeptic to believer.
 

lacktheknack

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Jan 19, 2009
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I know that "Crystal Caves" is an Apogee Classic, but I REALLY underestimated how much I've wanted a simple collect-all-the-things 2D platformer. I think I'll finish it off in the next couple days, totally worth the impulsive $6.