Game Over: 2019

Another year has come to a close and, on personal note, it was a year in which I completed 19 games.

It started with a continuation of the previous year, and what has become a tradition I purchased a ‘new’ PC first person shooter as part of the Steam winter sale. This time round it was Doom 3, a game which left conflicting feelings. Beyond the superficial good looks was a long repetitive game which sadly failed to recapture any of the charm of originals. The final straw being the tragic Easter-egg which seemed to consist of a whole lot of messages from the developers asking forgiveness from their families for working so much. What a sad waste of time for all involved.

On a more positive note it was great to try Dynamix’s Red Baron for the first time. Graphically an absolute dinosaur of a game but it’s tense, engaging and still incredible playable. This was followed up by Aces of the Pacific, a game I’d played extensively back in the 1990’s, and which with hindsight is a much weaker game than it’s predecessor, Red Baron. Something I didn’t realise until now.

Other MS-DOS games revisited included Beneath a Steel Sky, perhaps a bit less serious than I seem to remember and Alone in the Dark which I appreciated a lot more this time round, partly because I managed to get much further with it (and eventually complete it). I also had a good run at a game of which I never seem to tire of, Pirates Gold, thanks to the DOS Game Club making it one of their monthly games. For Windows retrogaming I went back to the incomparable Thief the Dark Project. It has not lost anything in the 21 years since it’s release, meaning revisits of the next two games in the series are on the cards for me in 2020.

2019 also saw me attend several retro-gaming events focused on old coin-op arcades and retro consoles which led to me actually trying out a few console games. Streets of Rage 1 and 2 are timeless classics in my opinion and so it was great to play both to completion again. I also managed to play, and complete, the thoroughly enjoyable Final Fight on the SNES for the first time.

Point and click adventure games featured heavily this year. These have always been a favourite genre of mine but I’d not really had the time to devote to them. I tried Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade for the first time but felt it was definitely overshadowed by it’s far superior sequel. I also tried the much derided Orion Conspiracy, which I felt doesn’t quite deserve the awful reputation it has. Other adventure games completed include Four Last Things, Gemini Rue and Machinarium.

And finally the year was brought to a close on a high with two more modern games. First was a Halloween purchase of Outlast (and it’s DLC, Whistleblower). I loved the whole being unable to fight, only run, mechanic of the game although once you’d figured out just running was the best option it became fairly straight forward to play. The DLC continued the story in a good way, although the subject matter wasn’t half bleak.

Bringing things full circle another Steam winter sale first person shooter. This time it was Wolfenstein: The New Order and what a game that was, the highlight of my gaming year. I don’t play many modern shooters but this one had it all, great game play and storyline which made you want to connect with the protagonists, unlike the quite frankly tedious glorification of the US military–industrial complex which seems to be the norm for so many modern shooters.

So, game over for another year. Let the fireworks commence.

(The remaining completed games include: Dakar 2 on the Gamecube and Fiendish Freddy’s Big Top O’ Fun on the Commodore Amiga)

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