What are you playing - 2021 edition

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Nassim
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What are you playing - 2021 edition

Post by Nassim »

So I was thinking of starting a thread "games of 2021" as we do for songs and albums, but we often play games from other years so I thought I could (re?) start something more general !

I just beat Persona 5 Strikers. For those who don't know, it's a follow-up to Persona 5 story wise, but within a different genre : instead of a turned based RPG it is an action role playing game. It's developed by Tecmo Koei, so there were some worries it would be like other "Dynasty Warriors" style spin-off like Hyrule Warriors, however gone are the massive battles against hordes of enemies that define the genre in favor of smaller scale squirmishes. Dynasty Warriors (or "musou") games are often fun but quickly repetitive, Persona 5 Strikers mostly avoids that with smaller, often more strategic combats.
The kept the systems of strength and weakness from the Persona series, so by using the correct elements, you can down enemies and start big "all out attacks". This really pushes you to play with all 7 (and then 8 and then 9) members of the Phantom Thief instead of sticking with your a core group of characters as in a lot of RPG (including Persona ones). Joker being a jack of all trades, you can always manage to compensate, but a lot of the boss fights are actually pretty hard if you don't have the appropriate team to take advantage of their weaknesses (which also means you will have to restart a lot of fights because you don't have the proper team member, but you have to wait for your team to die as there is no "start over" function. Thanksfully, once you are dead, you can restart the battle with the members you want). Each characters has a slightly different fighting style and a few specific tools and specials, however they don't differ enough to make it difficult switching from one another (except for the last member of the team to join), and you can easily manage without mastering Fox's counter attacks or Mona's bus transformations.
Basically : the gameplay is fun !
The difficulty has the same issue as Persona 4 and 5 : the game gets easier as it progresses. I had to farm a bit of experience in the first "jail" to be able to tackle the mini boss and the boss ; I didn't need it for the following 2 though both remained a bit difficult, and had no trouble for the rest of the game. The core battles also become easier, a lot of it having to do (like for other Persona titles) with the main character becoming more versatile as the game progresses.
The game design isn't as incredible as Persona 5, but that's a very high bar to pass, it's still very stylish but most importantly practical. Persona 5 was a masterclass, Strikers is the student that looked at the master, understood the most important aspects and reproduced them appropriately !
Most importantly, the story is a nice continuation of the main game one (without anything happening in The Royal), and it felt fantastic reuniting with this great cast of characters and traveling with them. The 2 new team members are also pretty cool, especially the second one. The story tackles interesting subjects, moves along nicely (though always with those contrived coincidences) and breaks a bit the mold of "most adults are terrible".
The small regrets are that we don't see any of the other confidants from the main game, and that the choices you made in the main game don't affect the game (I realize it could be complicated to, for instance, remember who you dated to change the dialogues, but that'd be fun... assuming you didn't date several girls at once. I didn't make the in retrospect right choice to date Makoto in the main game anyway...).

So bottom line, pretty great game, a bit less time consuming than the core games (I think it took me 35h to get to the ending). I'm not planning on getting to 100% as it would just mean farming gold and xp to beat a few optional bosses which I rarely enjoy.
Also made me want to play "The Royal"... I'm hoping for a sale soon (working from home due to confinement helps with getting more playtime, and as someone mentioned, the fact that my daughter can't move around yet does too) because I don't want to pay full price for a deluxe version of a game I already have.

Coming next : Nier Automata
Also playing : Civilization VI, as usual ! The new zombie mode is brutal...
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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I've been switching between a few games.

Because one of the next big games coming out is the new Ratchet and Clank, I decided to finally check out the series. I played through the original trilogy and am now on the two main Future titles. The third game especially felt like a perfect mix of third-person shooter and platformer in a way I'm not sure I've experienced before.

I stumbled across a game called Parkitect which is essentially a knock-off of the original two Rollercoaster Tycoon games, but it feels like an evolution in a way the bigger 3D games do not. Since RCT was my big childhood game before I got into Pokemon, this has been a nostalgia trip. A few of the goals are surprisingly difficult, but that helps make it feel like a genuine strategy game. Highly recommended to fans of RCT.

Finally, the Binding of Isaac got its final expansion, four years after the previous. Isaac was already my most played game ever, so it's time for me to become addicted again. Unfortunately, it is only on PC and I'd been playing on PS4, so I have to unlock everything again (though doing so is much easier with experience).
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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I've also been switching around between a few different games, none of them are from this year though.

Since I've finally got a computer that can properly play video games I've been playing the original Deus Ex. I've played Deus Ex: Human Revolution a few years ago and really enjoyed it and have been wanting to play the original ever since. I'm only on the third mission right now but I can see how great the game is already. It has such an immersive world for a game released in the early 2000s.

The other game I've been playing is Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I enjoyed the first Xenoblade game but never picked up XC2 until Pyra/Mythra were announced for Super Smash Bros. I took a break from playing it after a (spoiler filled) cutscene left a bad taste in my mouth.

The third game I've been switching around with is Persona 4. I haven't played it in while but intend to start playing it again.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is another game I've been playing, I nearly 100% completed Crash 2 a few years ago and am trying to do same with Crash 3. I also plan to get Persona 3, Xenogears, and Suikoden II before the PS Vita store closes. I'm also trying to start that PTG project I mentioned a couple of years ago. The problem that I keep running into is that I'm not particularly sure how to go through the list. I've thought about going from ping-ponging back a forth from 2000-1001 and 1000-1, or choosing a random year and doing all the games listed from that year.
Last edited by ordinaryperson on Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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I missed all of the last console generation so I recently got the Xbox One X so I could catch up on everything cheaply with Game Pass.

I’ve been going alphabetically and currently in the “D’s” now, switching between Dead Cells, Dirt 5, Destiny 2, Dishonored 2, and I’ll probably go to the original Doom game since I’ve never played anything in the series.

So far each of these have been pretty excellent, I had never heard of Dead Cells before but it’s been a nice surprise. It has a goofy sense of humor but the combat is also super smooth and every time I feel like I’m almost done with the game it becomes clear there’s a whole lot more to do so replay value is very high. Though at times it can be frustratingly hard...

Dirt 5 is nothing too special but it is pretty fun and has incredible weather effects.

Destiny was cool but also kind of a drag at times, but I think the core gameplay is rock solid which is pretty evident by how addictive Destiny 2 is. What was kind of shallow in the first game is replaced by what seems like a bottomless well of fun that made Bungie’s Halo games so essential. Plus, I guess it’s free to play now so you’re definitely getting your money’s worth so to speak.

I’m only a third way through Dishonored 2 but so far it seems to be everything amazing about the first game but better, they’ve really done a great job (re)creating such an immersive world but it gets bonus points for being surprisingly creepy at times.

Separate from everything on Xbox, I’ve been trying to keep myself from playing more Crusader Kings III since it basically consumed my life for the last few months, it’s probably the best strategy game I’ve played in years.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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FrankLotion wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:32 am I’ve been going alphabetically and currently in the “D’s” now, switching between Dead Cells, Dirt 5, Destiny 2, Dishonored 2, and I’ll probably go to the original Doom game since I’ve never played anything in the series.

I’m only a third way through Dishonored 2 but so far it seems to be everything amazing about the first game but better, they’ve really done a great job (re)creating such an immersive world but it gets bonus points for being surprisingly creepy at times.
That's a surprising way to pick what game to play, but why not !
I got Dishonored 2 during January Steam sales, hopefully I can give a try soon... though I just restarted a Disco Elysium game now that the "Final Cut" is available so that might take some time.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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Nassim wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:00 pm
FrankLotion wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:32 am I’ve been going alphabetically and currently in the “D’s” now, switching between Dead Cells, Dirt 5, Destiny 2, Dishonored 2, and I’ll probably go to the original Doom game since I’ve never played anything in the series.

I’m only a third way through Dishonored 2 but so far it seems to be everything amazing about the first game but better, they’ve really done a great job (re)creating such an immersive world but it gets bonus points for being surprisingly creepy at times.
That's a surprising way to pick what game to play, but why not !
I got Dishonored 2 during January Steam sales, hopefully I can give a try soon... though I just restarted a Disco Elysium game now that the "Final Cut" is available so that might take some time.
You’ll have to let me know how that is! That game looked super fun but I’ve been hesitant since I can get overwhelmed by really detailed RPG’s (even with real good ones like Divinity II). Hopefully I’ll get around to it in the near future.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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I'm in the B walkthrough of Nier : Automata and I would say I'm still not fully on board.
There is a lot to love, the design of everything but the characters is fantastic, the fights are very responsive and it's pretty fun (but so far too easy) to bash through the big boss fights and the many options to customize your playstyle are very enjoyable.
However I just didn't care much for the story, the 2 main villains are especially dull, some kind of Sephiroth-lite characters with no clear motivation (at least in the first walkthrough)... I could make with the emo designs of 2B and 9S and the baselessly sexualized outfit of 2B, but I just don't care much for the story, and going through it a 2nd time in the hope of some new perspectives, with the adding hitch of those cloying hacking phases, is not very motivating. I'm going to push further a bit, we'll see !
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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Finished Dishonored 2 the other night, quite an impressive game that had some truly ingenious level and gameplay mechanics, some of which I would never spoil for someone going in because they add such a nice surprise anytime you think you’ve figured out a comfortable way to play. I’d say most everything is an improvement off the first game except for the story, it’s not bad by any means but it follows a lot of the same beats as in the first one so it’s a little overfamiliar.

I then moved on to the original Doom from 1993 and went in with the expectation that it was probably fun for it’s time but has been surpassed several times over by now, but goddamn if this isn’t one of the most fun games I’ve played in years! It’s so fast paced and it’s pretty difficult but it feels badass just charging around like a lunatic. I can see why this is in top 10 on PlayThatGame, this must’ve been a blast when it came out.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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I was also completely blown away by how much the original Doom holds up, having played it for the first time a couple years back. FPS games largely evolved in a different, more methodical direction. Doom, meanwhile, is all about constant motion; the 2016 game does a perfect job capturing that energy in a modern style.

I've been playing the new Binding of Isaac expansion like crazy this last month, and now I started Final Fantasy XIV...
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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I just finished Divinity: Original Sin 2 after playing it for a year.

Currently playing Trails of Cold Steel 3 and Persona 5 Royal. Thinking of starting Nier: Replicant.

@Nassim

I recommend staying with Nier: Automata cause the third part is excellent. I agree it's dumb to have to do the same things twice.

The motives of Adam and Eve and all the machines become more clear as the game goes on. There's a desire to emulate humans, but an inability to adapt to failure.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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BleuPanda wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 11:43 pm I was also completely blown away by how much the original Doom holds up, having played it for the first time a couple years back. FPS games largely evolved in a different, more methodical direction. Doom, meanwhile, is all about constant motion; the 2016 game does a perfect job capturing that energy in a modern style.

I've been playing the new Binding of Isaac expansion like crazy this last month, and now I started Final Fantasy XIV...
Binding of Isaac is great too, I must've sunk hundreds of hours into that but I haven't played it in a long time. Sounds like it's still going strong to this day!

FF 14 and 11 are probably the only two Final Fantasy games I haven't played in some capacity, I hear 14 is good so hopefully I'll get around to it eventually.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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Also I loved what I played of Divinity: Original Sin 2 but I haven't finished it after dipping in and out for a few years because it can be a little overwhelming at times, but that's what makes it good too.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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Jirin wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:56 am @Nassim

I recommend staying with Nier: Automata cause the third part is excellent. I agree it's dumb to have to do the same things twice.

The motives of Adam and Eve and all the machines become more clear as the game goes on. There's a desire to emulate humans, but an inability to adapt to failure.
I beat the third playthrough today ! Still didn't enjoy it that much... I mean I see all the qualities and ambitions of the game, but it just doesn't really work for me.

I have started Dishonored 2 too !

I have also started playing Trials of Fire : it's a mix between turn based tactics (à la "X Com") and deck building rogue game (à la "Stay the Spire") and it works pretty well, I had a lot of fun on my first run !
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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I have started the remaster of Mass Effect, really enjoying it so far ! Didn't realize how much The Outer Worlds have taken from it, but so far Mass Effect does a way better job convincing me there is a huge universe to explore.

A friend of mine launched a game called m0ria which is an improved version of Windows
Minesweeper, with power-up and levels with fun shapes. Really, whether or not you will enjoy it depends if you enjoy Minesweeper, if you don't it's not worth trying, but if you do, it's only 1$ !
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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I just finished the Mass Effect trilogy this weekend - I've played it before, of course, but I felt legitimately sad to be done with it. Few works in any medium have clicked with me on the level that trilogy has.

Now I'm onto Nier Replicant (and hopefully back to FFXIV once I am done with this top 250 song project...)
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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Always loved those Mass Effect games, maybe I can find the time to replay the remastered versions at some point.

Before life got real busy I got through quite a few games since I last posted here:

Finished all the Doom games, every one of them was awesome and it’s become one of my favorite series.

Replayed Outer Wilds which I love deeply, some people say it’s like Myst which isn’t totally inaccurate but it also has surprisingly fun controls flying around in your ship or jumping with your jetpack. Definitely makes it very fun.

Finally got around to Metal Gear Solid V as well after being a longtime fan of the series. Honestly, I don’t know how people were disappointed with this game because I can’t see how it’s anything but a complete triumph in terms of gameplay at least. It might be my favorite stealth game, period.

Checked out Banjo-Kazooie which was also really fun and charming but I’m glad it’s not a long game.

Can’t remember if I mentioned in a previous post but got through Celeste as well which was very hard but super rewarding. I would think that a lot of people understandably lost patience with the difficulty which is fair.

Control was a game my sister kept telling me to play and I kept dragging my feet since I wasn’t a huge fan of Alan Wake way back when. Great game though, the combat is super responsive and it just feels great to throw stuff around with your mind…Also I was repeatedly impressed by whatever technology they used for facial animations.

Went through Return of the Obra Dinn again since it only takes a few hours, still pretty engrossing even though I generally remembered the solutions from my first play through.

Been taking advantage of Microsoft finally releasing some new games onto Game Pass, first of which was Flight Simulator which has to be the most impressive tech I’ve seen in any program. Flying over my literal childhood home was pretty cool. With that said, it’s a simulator and not a game so I didn’t play it too much.

The Ascent and Twelve Minutes are both…okay. I guess there’s nothing wrong with games that are just serviceable rather than great but I couldn’t help but feel like they were both lesser versions of games I’ve already seen in their respective genres. Plus, without spoiling anything, I would say there’s parts in both that were downright offensive and left a bad taste in my mouth even after I was done.

And now, I’ve been switching through a few games at the moment. Chiefly among those is Hades, which I have absolutely fallen in love with, I beat the game a while ago now but I can’t seem to tear myself away from it!

Started the Resident Evil 1 remake last night that used to be on the GameCube, really impressive graphics even for now and is seeming to be very fun so far even despite the tank controls…

Finally, I also started Red Dead Redemption 2 the other night. I have to imagine that it will take me until the end of the year to complete since it’s so massive. I’m not complaining though, every aspect of the gameplay so far is just best in class, honestly feels more like a next-gen game than anything else I’ve played so far. I was putting it off for years since the first RDR was one of my all-time favorites and didn’t want to be disappointed. I feel very reassured after just a couple hours that it might actually be just as good or better, which is exciting.


Sorry to write so much! Figured I might as well share a bunch of recommendations that I’ve enjoyed over the last few months.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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Also I want to mention that almost everything I just mentioned I got for free! I definitely feel spoiled with how easy it is to get games now.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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FrankLotion wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:05 pm Replayed Outer Wilds which I love deeply, some people say it’s like Myst which isn’t totally inaccurate but it also has surprisingly fun controls flying around in your ship or jumping with your jetpack. Definitely makes it very fun.
Waiting for the Switch release ! Was supposed to be available this summer but I think now it's planned for December
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I beat Psychonauts 2 over the weekend, an excellent sequel. I'm not actually sure how I would compare it to the first since I have not revisited the original since I played it over a decade ago, but the world design is again top notch. I don't think any single world hit me like The Milkman Conspiracy from the first, but there also aren't any lows like The Meat Circus. The writing and characters are all great; definite GOTY contender, which I really was not expecting after the long wait and the studio's questionable track record since the first game.

Now I'm back to the second game of The Great Ace Attorney collection. I'm only two cases in, but something about it feels right compared to the first game; only the third case of the first really gripped me. The first case of the second is a tutorial like always but more concise than G1-1, and G2-2 was a rare early case to truly blindside me multiple times. I'm hoping it keeps the pace. It's also inspired me to start reading Sherlock Holmes, and I also convinced my book club to do Natsume Soseki's Kokoro next.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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Nassim wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 6:35 pm
FrankLotion wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:05 pm Replayed Outer Wilds which I love deeply, some people say it’s like Myst which isn’t totally inaccurate but it also has surprisingly fun controls flying around in your ship or jumping with your jetpack. Definitely makes it very fun.
Waiting for the Switch release ! Was supposed to be available this summer but I think now it's planned for December
I highly recommend it! I think they're finally releasing the first DLC of the game in a few days so I'm pretty excited for that.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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BleuPanda wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:37 pm I beat Psychonauts 2 over the weekend, an excellent sequel. I'm not actually sure how I would compare it to the first since I have not revisited the original since I played it over a decade ago, but the world design is again top notch. I don't think any single world hit me like The Milkman Conspiracy from the first, but there also aren't any lows like The Meat Circus. The writing and characters are all great; definite GOTY contender, which I really was not expecting after the long wait and the studio's questionable track record since the first game.

Now I'm back to the second game of The Great Ace Attorney collection. I'm only two cases in, but something about it feels right compared to the first game; only the third case of the first really gripped me. The first case of the second is a tutorial like always but more concise than G1-1, and G2-2 was a rare early case to truly blindside me multiple times. I'm hoping it keeps the pace. It's also inspired me to start reading Sherlock Holmes, and I also convinced my book club to do Natsume Soseki's Kokoro next.
Psychonauts 2 is next on my list, I loved the first game and the trailers made it look pretty great. I replayed the original a couple years back and I will say that everything that made it special are still really special (dialogue, characters, themes, etc.) but coming to the clunky gameplay with modern sensibilities was a pretty tough sell. This time around when I got to the Meat Circus I just stopped playing. Still loved the game though!

I remember playing the first two Ace Attorney games back in the day and thought they were super fun and surprisingly engaging! Embarrassingly enough I could probably track my career as an attorney back to my initial enjoyment of that series which managed to stoke my interest. :mrgreen:
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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Just started Tales of Arise.

I'm a fan of the Tales series but it's underwhelming me so far.

They have a premise where one race is enslaved by another alien race. But they kinda overcomplicated it by making it so the point of labor isn't the labor, they could just do the labor with machines, they need human labor to be the conduit for some weird magic force that determines the next ruler. Like, why?

And they brought back the problem with a lot of Tales games that the ally AI is so terrible they literally sabotage your strategy. And also made it so you don't make money from defeating enemies and are forced to do fetch quests to afford things.
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Finally finished The Great Ace Attorney 2; I think this beat out Trials and Tribulations as my favorite game in the series. The first game would be on the lower end of the series for me, but every case in the sequel beyond the first was excellent (and the first was still fine, just a standard intro case).
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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BleuPanda wrote: Wed Oct 06, 2021 6:20 am Finally finished The Great Ace Attorney 2; I think this beat out Trials and Tribulations as my favorite game in the series. The first game would be on the lower end of the series for me, but every case in the sequel beyond the first was excellent (and the first was still fine, just a standard intro case).
What did you end up playing that on? I’m definitely getting curious to try this game out.
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Re: What are you playing - 2021 edition

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I played it on the Switch

Next up will be Metroid Dread
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