Adef's Grouvee Challenge 2021

This seems fun! Although, I’m not very fast with games, so I don’t expect I’ll beat Medium. Maybe Easy, we’ll see.

Here we go. I will go for Classic Mode. I intend to replay some games in addition to my backlog.


First month done, it’s time for an update! I think I’ll do one every month actually.

  • Undertale (review) The Protagonist: Child
    I waited five years to do this one, because to be honest the memes were too much, and I stopped being curious eventually. I’ve been very conflicted about Undertale during my playthrough: I was a bit bored at first, but after a few boss battles I was obsessed with the story and characters. It spoke to me on a very personal level, and I’m really glad I never spoiled the game for myself in those five years.

  • Crash Bandicoot (PS1) (review) The Protagonist: Real Life Animal
    So last month I learned that all PS3 models are compatible with PS1 games. I told a friend, who let me borrow his copy of the first Crash Bandicoot. It was difficult, frustrating, but somehow I’ve enjoyed it. The controls and physics are hard to get right, and the save system is absurd. I’m not entirely sure why I liked the game anyway, maybe it just has charm. I kinda like this style of world/characters, and I don’t mind that the graphics have aged.


February + March update

  • Florence The Protagonist: Everyman
    It’s like a romance graphical novel but in video game form. Very sweet, and some nice uses of the Switch’s touchscreen to make the story progress.

  • Portal (review) The Genre: Puzzle
    Never got tired of playing Portal.

  • Antichamber The Graphic Style: Abstract
    I don’t like this one a lot… Antichamber is technically impressive, with some thought-provoking moments, but too often I felt that the rules were poorly explained, or that a particular solution to a problem felt more like a cheat. Other than the gameplay, there is nothing engaging about it. It’s Portal, but with Facebook motivational quotes instead of GLaDOS.

  • Gone Home The Genre: Walking Simulator
    This is also a replay. I had played Gone Home years ago but didn’t remember much of it, except that I had liked the ending. This time there was no surprise, it felt a bit pointless to do it again. The commentary mode is interesting though. I learned that the devs thought of their game as a “non-violent immersive sim” (games like Deus Ex). At first it sounded absurd to me, but now I think it makes sense.

  • Cinderella Phenomenon The Genre: Visual Novel
    I was unsure about this one, but it turned out very well! This is the story of Lucette, a princess who hates everyone and finds herself cursed by a witch. She lost her crown, everyone forgot about her, and she must accomplish three good deeds to gain her life back. It’s a dating sim, and each of the five date-able characters is a route of its own. It was surprised by how quickly I got invested in that story. The art is also nice, and on top of that, it’s free.


April + May update

I haven’t finish a lot of games these past two months. I just didn’t feel like playing for a while, and when I did feel like it I just made progress on BoTW.

  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune The Graphic Style: Photorealism
    It was okay. Not nearly as good as Uncharted 2 (which is the only other I played), but fine.

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons The Protagonist: Custom Character
    I’m just playing on my girlfriend’s island. She wanted to redesign the island (this is new to me, I used to play Wild Worlds on DS, we didn’t have that), but didn’t really know how to do it, so I made a new island for her. I made plans, terraformed everything tile by tile, moved the houses, etc. This took much more time than I expected (I blame the game for making terraforming more time-consuming than necessary), but at least we have a pretty island now. Anyway, I feel that this is a good time to put ACNH on my list.


June Update

  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate Edition The Graphic Style: Anime
    I never played a Shantae game before, but I was curious. I enjoyed it, it felt a lot like a Gameboy platformer, mostly in a good way.

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild The Protagonist: Noble/Royalty
    It was long. Not that I didn’t like it, but it doesn’t end on a high note with that final boss, and there is so much to do that I got bored in the middle of it. I might write a longer review for BoTW someday (I want to), but for now I will just summarize what I think. The exploration is great, I was worried initially but now I think open-world is the way to go for Zelda. Sadly there are a lot of things to dislike if we look elsewhere. The shrines are boring. The sidequests are irrelevant. One sidequest is actually good, but it makes the main story look bad in comparison. Combat is unbalanced. I can defend weapon durability on some level, but it still creates many problems. Cooking is useless, and collecting materials is not particularly interesting, except for getting some pieces of rare equipment. Anyway, I know I’m more negative than I should be, and that may be because BoTW has received a lot of praise, while I see it more as an experimental title. But I did like it (most of the time), and I am excited for the sequel regardless.


Rest of the Year Update

Sadly I gave up this challenge at some point during fall. I was starting to treat it like work, which made me exhausted. I kept playing games, just not for the sake of filling out my spreadsheet, and for me that was a relief. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: So, to give this year some closure, here are the games I played since July. No categories this time.

  • Final Fantasy X (HD Remaster)
    I wasn’t going to put this in the list, because technically I was already 40 hours in at the beginning of the year. As much as I want to like FF games (and JRPGs in general), I find hard to connect with this kind of gameplay. I love the stories and characters in those games, and I found FFX’s story particularly engaging. But I wish I could also like the grinding or the endless menu browsing that comes with it. There is always a point when I can’t stand it anymore. Despite all of this, I liked FFX very much. Its ending really hit home with me.

  • Ocarina of Time 3D
    I got myself a 3DS, and this is the first game I played on it. I had been wanting to replay OoT for quite some time, and it just seemed fitting to try the 3D feature with the first 3D Zelda. :slight_smile: I honestly feel like the 3D gave me a new appreciation for this game. Without it, the game would have been exactly as I remember, but with it, it was like rediscovering OoT’s Hyrule for the first time again. I enjoyed every second of it.

  • Ace Attorney: Investigations
    This one had been waiting on the shelf for way too long. I don’t know what made me decide to finally play it, but it was better than I expected. Not as good as the original games, but still a worthwhile addition to the series.

  • A Short Hike
    Fantastic. Perhaps the most fullfulling game I ever played. It really is short, but there are so many little goals to accomplish that I didn’t get bored for one second. I consider A Short Hike to be a must-play on the Switch.

  • Sly Cooper and the Thievus Raccoonus (replay)
    To be honest, the main reason I played the first Sly Cooper game is to get to the next ones, to replay the whole trilogy. The first is neither the best title, nor the one I’m most attached to, but it’s still good.

  • Tomb Raider: Anniversary
    I’m really not familiar with Tomb Raider at all, but I still have a bunch of Tomb Raider games in my backlog… I really enjoyed the platforming/exploring in this game. I find it soothing, actually. Plus, I got to be like ‘huh, Uncharted didn’t invent that? :o’ every time some new mechanic came up. My only regret is the combat, which is clunky and awkward, and every time I got hit Lara would take ages to get on her feet, and I hated it.

  • Control
    I am extremely impressed with Control. I came in because I was intrigued by its setting and atmosphere. On that point I was not disappointed: Control’s uncanny world is beatiful and rich, and I never wanted to see the end of it. But I was especially surprised by how much I liked the combat. I don’t play a lot of games like Control, but I could tell it’s pretty crazy by today’s standards. The joy I felt throwing giant rocks and furniture at ennemies, while levitating 15 feet above the ground, is something I’m definitely going to miss.