Kenna's 2020 Challenge Post

I really wanted to join in last year’s video game challenge but I didn’t really even find these forums until last summer, and I didn’t have much time for video games last year anyways. But I really want to work through my backlog this year!

I’m doing Classic, either Casual or Easy (depending on how much time I end up having). I’m gonna focus on the Seven Basic Plots and Pile of Shame (tho I have a few more groups highlighted).


Game 1 - Fe (Seven Basic Plots: Overcoming the Monster)

I was excited for this ever since it got announced at E3, I finally bought it on my Switch last year, and decided it would be my first game this year. It’s fairly short, and there’s some difficulties with the controls, but frankly no more than most AAA games have nowadays, and overall it was very worth the price. Super pretty and intriguing, one of those games where you get as much from is as you’re willing to put into it.


Game 2 - Arcade Spirits (Pile of Shame: 2019)

I actually followed the devlog and dev twitter for this as the game was being produced, and bought it the day it came out, and just just let it sit there in my Steam account for practically a whole year. I actually don’t play many dating sims, and even though I like visual novels when I’m in the mood to play a game those usually aren’t my go-to, so that’s probably why I put this one off.

It’s very fun though, and there’s tons of video game humor (it takes place in an alternate history 20XX where the video game crash of 1982 never happened, and arcades are a BIG business)! Loved all the characters, and some of the twists this took on the dating sum ‘genre’ (like the fact that you can opt not to participate in the romance aspect of the story if you don’t want to - there’s plenty more going on).


Game 3 - To the Moon (Pile of Shame: 2011)

Bought this and another of Freebird Games’ titles on sale a few years ago, it’s short so I downloaded it onto my laptop about a year ago and STILL just got around to playing it now.

I really liked the story. The gameplay itself was a little clunky, there’s some bugs in the controls that made certain aspects of the game feel tedious or frustrating, which is enough to keep me from rating this well. And there’s certain aspects of the story itself that I didn’t fully grasp. But I liked the concept - doctors traveling backwards through a man’s memories to piece together his life, for the purpose of reconstructing everything to give him his dying wish of the perfect life he wanted. It was a really fun backwards way to tell a story, and there are a few gut-punching reveals accomplished this way.


Game 4 - Cadence of Hyrule (Seven Basic Plots: Voyage and Return)(eh. I’m counting it)

Took me a while to get into this one - I played a few hours of the original Crypt of the Necrodancer last year and… died a lot. Luckily, after dying several times, I got the hang of the beat and how to navigate. I really liked the changes in this game: the overworld, the ease of finding diamonds, the fact that potions and shops exist. Mostly it’s a really fun game! Beat it in 9 hours (and 21 deaths!) which is higher than average but par for the course for me.

This game has a reeaally pervasive Tetris effect, just a warning. I just beat it but I’m really excited to play second story mode (minor spoilers, but it lets you replay the game as the villain!)


Game 5 - Aragami (Pile of Shame: 2016)

I had so many games I desperately wanted to play that I actually put them all through a ranking algorithm to figure out which was I was most anxious for, and Aragami came out on top!

This ones really interesting, and I like it a lot, but I don’t think it’s a new favorite or that I’d be anxious to replay it anytime soon. I like how the stealth mechanics worked out (I enjoy stealth games in general) and while there’s a few kinks, it still seems really well programmed for an indie debut.

The story (I’m all about story) is… good? But feels like it could be VERY good, and is lacking. Like, they definitely had a really great story there, but then struggled a bit to get all the pieces together in a logical way. I completely sympathize, and I can tell that what they were going for was a pretty meaningful narrative. This is one of those games where if you read all the in-game text you see a fuller picture, but the cut scene dialogue explains everything you need to know to follow what’s happening.